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Transcript
Report No. 135
The Development of an Irish Climate Information
Platform (ICIP) - Phase 1 (2010-2013)
Barry O’Dwyer, UCC
www.epa.ie
EPA-ReportCover-135-Nov14-v1.indd 1
04/11/2014 16:24
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for
protecting and improving the environment as a valuable asset
for the people of Ireland. We are committed to protecting
people and the environment from the harmful effects of
radiation and pollution.
The work of the EPA can be
divided into three main areas:
Monitoring, Analysing and Reporting
on the Environment
• Monitoring air quality and implementing the EU Clean Air
for Europe (CAFÉ) Directive.
• Independent reporting to inform decision making by
national and local government (e.g. periodic reporting on the
State of Ireland’s Environment and Indicator Reports).
Regulating Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Regulation: We implement effective regulation and
environmental compliance systems to deliver good
environmental outcomes and target those who don’t comply.
• Preparing Ireland’s greenhouse gas inventories and projections.
• Implementing the Emissions Trading Directive, for over 100
of the largest producers of carbon dioxide in Ireland.
Knowledge: We provide high quality, targeted
Environmental Research and Development
and timely environmental data, information and
assessment to inform decision making at all levels.
Advocacy: We work with others to advocate for a
clean, productive and well protected environment
and for sustainable environmental behaviour.
Our Responsibilities
Licensing
We regulate the following activities so that they do not
endanger human health or harm the environment:
• waste facilities (e.g. landfills, incinerators, waste transfer stations);
• large scale industrial activities (e.g. pharmaceutical, cement
manufacturing, power plants);
• intensive agriculture (e.g. pigs, poultry);
• the contained use and controlled release of Genetically
Modified Organisms (GMOs);
• sources of ionising radiation (e.g. x-ray and radiotherapy
equipment, industrial sources);
• large petrol storage facilities;
• waste water discharges;
• dumping at sea activities.
National Environmental Enforcement
• Conducting an annual programme of audits and inspections
of EPA licensed facilities.
• Overseeing local authorities’ environmental
protection responsibilities.
• Supervising the supply of drinking water by public water
suppliers.
• Working with local authorities and other agencies
to tackle environmental crime by co-ordinating a
national enforcement network, targeting offenders and
overseeing remediation.
• Enforcing Regulations such as Waste Electrical and
Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Restriction of Hazardous
Substances (RoHS) and substances that deplete the
ozone layer.
• Prosecuting those who flout environmental law and damage
the environment.
Water Management
• Monitoring and reporting on the quality of rivers, lakes,
transitional and coastal waters of Ireland and groundwaters;
measuring water levels and river flows.
• National coordination and oversight of the Water
Framework Directive.
• Monitoring and reporting on Bathing Water Quality.
• Funding environmental research to identify pressures,
inform policy and provide solutions in the areas of climate,
water and sustainability.
Strategic Environmental Assessment
• Assessing the impact of proposed plans and programmes on
the Irish environment (e.g. major development plans).
Radiological Protection
• Monitoring radiation levels, assessing exposure of people in
Ireland to ionising radiation.
• Assisting in developing national plans for emergencies arising
from nuclear accidents.
• Monitoring developments abroad relating to nuclear installations
and radiological safety.
• Providing, or overseeing the provision of, specialist radiation
protection services.
Guidance, Accessible Information and Education
• Providing advice and guidance to industry and the public on
environmental and radiological protection topics.
• Providing timely and easily accessible environmental
information to encourage public participation in environmental
decision-making (e.g. My Local Environment, Radon Maps).
• Advising Government on matters relating to radiological
safety and emergency response.
• Developing a National Hazardous Waste Management Plan to
prevent and manage hazardous waste.
Awareness Raising and Behavioural Change
• Generating greater environmental awareness and influencing
positive behavioural change by supporting businesses,
communities and householders to become more resource
efficient.
• Promoting radon testing in homes and workplaces and
encouraging remediation where necessary.
Management and structure of the EPA
The EPA is managed by a full time Board, consisting of a Director
General and five Directors. The work is carried out across five
Offices:
• Office of Climate, Licensing and Resource Use
• Office of Environmental Enforcement
• Office of Environmental Assessment
• Office of Radiological Protection
• Office of Communications and Corporate Services
The EPA is assisted by an Advisory Committee of twelve
members who meet regularly to discuss issues of concern and
provide advice to the Board.
EPA Research Programme 2014–2020
The Development of an Irish Climate Information
Platform (ICIP) – Phase 1 (2010–2013)
EPA Research Report
Prepared for the Environmental Protection Agency
by
Coastal and Marine Research Centre, University College Cork
Authors:
Barry O’Dwyer, Ying Wu and Jeremy Gault
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
An Ghníomhaireacht um Chaomhnú Comhshaoil
PO Box 3000, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford, Ireland
Telephone: +353 53 916 0600 Fax: +353 53 916 0699
Email: [email protected] Website: www.epa.ie
© Environmental Protection Agency 2014
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This report is published as part of the EPA Research Programme. The Research Programme is
administered on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
by the Environmental Protection Agency which has the statutory function of co-ordinating and
promoting Irish environmental research.
DISCLAIMER
Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the material contained in this
publication, complete accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Neither the Environmental Protection Agency
nor the author(s) accept any responsibility whatsoever for loss or damage occasioned or claimed to
have been occasioned, in part or in full, as a consequence of any person acting, or refraining from
acting, as a result of a matter contained in this publication. All or part of this publication may be
reproduced without further permission, provided the source is acknowledged.
The EPA Research Programme addresses the need for research in Ireland to inform policymakers
and other stakeholders on a range of questions in relation to environmental protection. These reports
are intended as contributions to the necessary debate on the protection of the environment.
EPA Research Programme 2014–2020
Published by the Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland
PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER
ISBN: 978-1-84095-555-2
Price: Free
ii
Details of Project Partners
Barry O’Dwyer
Coastal and Marine Research Centre
University College Cork
Irish Naval Base
Haulbowline
Cobh
Co. Cork
Ireland
Tel.: +353 21 4703139
Email: [email protected]
Ying Wu
Coastal and Marine Research Centre
University College Cork
Irish Naval Base
Haulbowline
Cobh
Co. Cork
Ireland
Tel.: +353 21 4703123
Email: [email protected]
Jeremy Gault
Coastal and Marine Research Centre
University College Cork
Irish Naval Base
Haulbowline
Cobh
Co. Cork
Ireland
Tel.: +353 21 4703108
Email: [email protected]
iii
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
ii
Disclaimer
ii
Details of Project Partners
iii
Executive Summary
vii
1
2
3
4
Introduction
1
1.1
Climate Change
1
1.2
Adaptation
2
1.3
Delivering Adaptation Responses
4
1.4
Uncertainty
4
1.5
Climate Information Platforms
5
Developing a Vision for a Prototype CIP
7
2.1
Introduction
7
2.2
Current Status of Climate Adaptation Planning in Ireland
7
2.3
Review of Existing Climatic Information for Ireland
9
2.4
Comparison and Critical Review of Existing International CIPs
11
2.5
Direct Stakeholder Engagement
15
2.6
Vision for Development
18
Delivering a Prototype CIP
20
3.1
Awareness Raising and Understanding
20
3.2
Information Provision
20
3.3
Decision Support
24
3.4
System Architecture and Structure
31
Conclusions and Recommendations
36
4.1
Conclusions
36
4.2
Recommendations
37
References
40
Acronyms
44
v
Executive Summary
1
For Ireland, there now exists a large body of work on
Introduction
current and anticipated impacts of climate change and
Warming of the climate system is now unequivocal.
it is considered that there is a robust knowledge base
Observations indicate that global surface temperatures
to support the process of adaptation planning.
have increased by on average 0.85°C since 1850, and
However, this information is disparate, being held by a
it is now considered extremely likely that human
wide range of organisations, in a variety of formats and
influence,
of
with differing means of access and, as a result, it is
greenhouse gases (GHGs), has been the dominant
extremely difficult for decision makers and citizens
cause of this warming since the mid-20th century. In
alike
order to reduce the long-term impacts of climate
experience has demonstrated that centralised online
change, two complementary policies have been
platforms providing harmonised scientific information
adopted: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation actions
adapted to end-user needs can effectively support
aim to limit warming through the reduction of GHG
practical
emissions and the increasing of carbon sinks.
Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Climate
However, due to latencies in the response of the global
Change Research Programme (2007–2013) identified
climate system, even if contemporary actions to limit
the need for a national climate change information
warming are successful in minimising the impact on
system for Ireland.
particularly
through
the
emission
the global climate system, many of the impacts of
2
climate change are ‘locked-in’ for some decades to
come and are expected to continue and intensify in the
to
access
decision
Ireland’s
Platform
it.
Contemporary
making.
On
Climate
this
international
basis,
the
Information
short to medium term. As a result, adaptation, which
Adopting a phased approach, the EPA-funded project
aims to enable society to better cope with, manage or
Ireland’s Climate Information Platform (ICIP) aims to
develop a one-stop web-based resource of climate and
adjust to changing climatic conditions, is now required.
adaptation information that is specifically designed to
facilitate climate adaptation decision making in Ireland.
Adaptation has been defined by the Intergovernmental
The first phase of the ICIP project aimed to develop a
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) as “adjustment
prototype Climate Information Platform (CIP) for
or preparation of natural or human systems to a new or
Ireland.2 In order to best design and develop a
changing environment, with the aim of moderating
prototype CIP, an extensive scoping strategy was first
harm or exploiting beneficial opportunities in natural or
undertaken in order to establish the requirements of
human systems in response to actual or climate
decision making in Ireland for climate adaptation
change stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm
planning. This scoping strategy examined the existing
or exploits beneficial opportunities”.1 It can be reactive
status of adaptation planning in Ireland, current and
or proactive. Given the increased knowledge of
historical climatic (observed and projected) information
expected climate change impacts, a planned and
for Ireland, and it reviewed existing international
strategic approach to adaptation is required to reduce
climate and adaptation information platforms.
risk and avail of any opportunities that climate change
•
might bring.
Currently, Ireland can be considered to be at the
early stages of the adaptation planning process
1. IPCC, 2007. Summary for policymakers. In: Parry, M.L.
et al. (Eds) Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation
and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the
Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, UK. pp. 7–22.
and climate adaptation has not been considered
a high priority for decision making in Ireland. This
2. For clarity, the ‘prototype CIP for Ireland’ is referred to as
‘prototype CIP’ throughout this report.
vii
can be attributed to a lack of a statutory
This resource addresses key issues such as
requirement to address climate adaptation and
observed evidence of climate change, the
also the lack of awareness and understanding
process of developing future climate projections,
amongst decision makers and the general public.
the uncertainties in projecting future climate
However, the recent publication on the National
changes and their impacts, and it outlines how
Climate
management
Change
(NCCAF)3
has
Adaptation
made
some
Framework
progress
approaches
(e.g.
adaptive
management) can be successfully implemented
in
in spite of these uncertainties.
addressing this issue by requiring the integration
of climate adaptation into spatial and sectoral
2. Act as a centralised repository of climatic
planning practices.
information for Ireland
•
A wide range of information on the current and
In order to provide climatic and adaptation
expected impacts of climate change for Ireland is
information and data through the prototype CIP,
currently available and should support the
three individual tools have been developed: the
process
Climate Information Tool, the Climate Hazard
Scoping Tool, and the Sectoral Adaptation
Information Tool. The Climate Information Tool
integrates and standardises (temporally and
spatially) existing and downscaled projections of
climatic changes for Ireland and allows users to
examine and query the available data, thus
overcoming issues such as access to information
and differences in temporal and spatial scales.
The Climate Hazard Scoping Tool examines
current and projected climate impact analyses
and adopts a vulnerability-based approach to
facilitate users in assessing how climate change
might exacerbate existing exposure to climatic
hazards. As climate change will result in a range
of different challenges and with varying
opportunities for the key economic sectors of the
Irish economy, a Sectoral Adaptation Information
Tool has been developed that provides decision
makers with the requisite information to determine
what climate change might mean for their sector
of operation and how they might begin to plan for
adaptation.
of
climate
adaptation
in
Ireland.
However, in its current state, a number of barriers
still exist to the utilisation of this information.
These include, amongst others, the distributed
nature of this information, differences in methods
of deriving information and also in the spatial and
temporal scales of this information. In order for
decision makers to effectively employ this
information in their current planning practices and
to overcome the uncertainties in it, specific
frameworks and tools are required.
•
Currently, there are eight European web-based
platforms that are considered to provide a broad
coverage of adaptation. In general, these are
based around three key areas of information
provision, namely awareness raising, provision of
climatic data, and decision support.
On this basis and in order to meet the requirements of
adaptation decision making in Ireland, the prototype
CIP has been designed and developed in order to:
1. Improve users’ understanding of climatic and
adaptation science
and
3. Provide a range of frameworks and tools to
awareness of climatic and adaptation science,
allow users to employ climatic information
thus overcoming the more common barriers to
and data in their current planning practices
climate change adaptation, such as denial and
In order to allow decision makers to effectively
scepticism, the prototype CIP provides a climatic
employ existing climatic information in their
and adaptation science informational resource.
current planning practices, a number of decision
In
order
to
enhance
understanding
support tools have been developed, including the
3. DECLG, 2012. National Climate Change Adaptation
Framework: Building Resilience to Climate Change.
Department of Environment, Community and Local
Government, Dublin, Ireland.
Adaptation Support Tool and Ireland’s Adaptive
Social Ecological Systems Simulator (iasess).
The Adaptation Support Tool facilitates users
viii
through the adaptation planning process from
development of adaptation plans. Nonetheless, in
identifying their area of planning and the key
order to operationalise the resource and in particular to
stakeholders
and
effectively support decision makers in fulfilling their
implementing an adaptation plan. This tool adopts
obligations under the NCCAF3, further development of
a participatory mapping approach that functions
the resource is required.
involved
to
developing
as a vehicle for stakeholder deliberation and
engagement.4 Moreover, in order to help users
•
Currently, the prototype CIP offers a number of
overcome the uncertainties in climate projection
high-level scoping tools (e.g. national level) to
information, this tool adopts a tiered approach to
facilitate decision makers in coming to an
risk assessment whereby the delivery of climate
understanding of the implications of climate
information is staggered and tailored to the
change for their area of operation. To facilitate
requirements of the decision-making context.
decision
makers
in
specific
NCCAF3
requirements
part
Climate
development of the prototype CIP toolbox is
Adaptation and Development (CLAD) project, a
required. In addition, in order to best develop
the
EPA-funded
Coastal
the
the
Building upon previous research undertaken as
of
of
meeting
,
further
web-based decision support tool, iasess, has
these tools, it is essential that continued user
been developed to assist decision makers in
engagement and training forms a key component
scoping their locally specific vulnerabilities to
to ensure the uptake of the resource by the key
climate change, and then to select and evaluate
stakeholder groups.
adaptation options to improve local resilience to
climate change.
•
The technical design and development of the
prototype
3
Conclusions and Recommendations
CIP
has
been
based
on
a
browser/server (B/S) system architecture and
Phase 1 of the ICIP project has made substantial
provides for both flexibility and expandability for
progress in designing and developing a prototype CIP
data providers and users alike. However, in order
and has demonstrated the potential to serve as a key
to further develop the resource, a number of
resource for communicating and supporting the
improvements can be made to ensure its full
analysis of impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation
automation, improved system performance and
options. As part of this process, the key areas of
data
information provision required for the initiation and
component can be improved to support more
development of adaptation responses in Ireland were
data formats and standards), and improved data
identified. The prototype CIP has been successful in
interrogation and display.
management
(e.g.
the
data
loading
collating and integrating a wide range of spatial and
•
non-spatial data sets that are of significant importance
In
order
to
ensure
the
uptake
and
in the development of adaptation planning in Ireland.
operationalisation of the prototype CIP, it is
Moreover, the prototype CIP has also designed and
essential that a roadmap for further development
developed specific resources, frameworks and tools to
and operationalisation of the resource be defined.
allow
This roadmap should be based on a review of
the
employment
of
these
data
in
the
international best practice, extensive stakeholder
4. Stocker, L., Burke, G., Kennedy, D. and Wood, D., 2012.
Sustainability and climate adaptation: using Google
Earth to engage stakeholders. Ecological Economics 80:
15–24.
engagement
and
consultation,
and
should
examine issues regarding embedding, governing
and resourcing of a fully operational CIP.
ix
1
Introduction
Currently, there is a large body of work on current and
1.1
anticipated impacts of climate change for Ireland, and
Climate Change
Warming of the climate system is now unequivocal and
it is now considered that there is a robust knowledge
observations indicate that global surface temperatures
base on which to begin the process of adaptation
have increased by on average 0.85°C since 1850 and
planning (Desmond et al., 2009). However, this
it is now considered virtually certain that the upper
information remains distributed amongst a large
ocean (0–700 m) has warmed by 0.11°C per decade
number of institutions and agencies and it is extremely
over the period 1971–2000, while it is considered likely
difficult for decision makers and citizens alike to
that the oceans have warmed between the 1870s and
access it in an efficient and effective manner.
1971 (IPCC, 2013). This warming has resulted in,
amongst others, the loss of mass from the Greenland
Contemporary international experience demonstrates
and Antarctic ice sheets, shrinking of glaciers globally,
that centralised (e.g. national and international) online
a decrease in the extent of Arctic Sea ice and Northern
platforms providing harmonised scientific information
Hemisphere spring snow cover, an increase in
adapted to end-user needs can effectively support
average rates of sea-level rise (SLR) and modifications
practical
of weather patterns (IPCC, 2013).
decision making.
Environmental
Protection
On
this
Agency
basis,
the
(EPA)-funded
It is now considered extremely likely (>95%) that
project Ireland’s Climate Information Platform (ICIP)
human influence, particularly through the emission of
aims to develop a CIP that will provide decision makers
greenhouse gases (GHGs), has been the dominant
in Ireland with a one-stop web-based resource of
cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th
climate and adaptation information and data for
century (IPCC, 2013). In order to reduce the long-term
Ireland. It was subsequently decided to adopt a
impacts of climate change, mitigation actions that aim
phased approach to this development, in which the first
to limit warming through the reduction of GHG
stage would, in consultation with potential end-users
emissions and by increasing the capacities of carbon
and data providers, design and populate a prototype
sinks,
CIP.
implemented. However, even if contemporary actions
to
e.g.
mitigate
through
reforestation,
anthropogenic
GHG
have
emissions
been
are
This report details ICIP Phase 1 development and
successful in minimising the human impact on the
more specifically the development of a prototype CIP
global climate system, due to latencies in the response
for Ireland. This chapter provides an overview of
of the global climate system, many of the impacts of
climate change, adaptation and the role of CIPs in
climate change are ‘locked-in’ for some decades to
facilitating adaptation responses. Chapter 2 scopes
come and are expected to continue and intensify in the
the potential for developing a prototype CIP by
short to medium term (IPCC, 2013).
identifying the needs of the key user groups, reviewing
For Ireland, observed changes are in line with global
available climatic information and data for Ireland, and
trends and Ireland’s climate is projected to change
examining existing international CIPs to inform the
significantly over the coming decades (Gleeson et al.,
development process. Chapter 3 describes the
2013). Observed changes indicate that for Ireland, the
delivery of this vision, outlining and describing the
annual average surface air temperature has increased
functionality of the prototype CIP, whilst Chapter 4
by approximately 0.8°C since 1900 (Walsh and Dwyer,
offers conclusions and recommendations for the
2013). Projections indicate that this warming is
further development and operationalisation of the
expected to continue with increases in average
developed prototype CIP.
temperatures of ~1.5°C projected by the end of the
1
Development of an Irish climate information platform
century (Nolan et al., 2013a). For precipitation, when
(IPCC, 2012). In contrast, climate change will also offer
compared with the period 1961–1990, observations
opportunities for Ireland’s key economic sectors. For
indicate that average levels of national rainfall have
example, increasing temperature and drier summers
increased by approximately 60 mm (5%) for the period
will likely prolong the duration of the present peak
1981–2010 (Walsh and Dwyer, 2013). In contrast,
tourism months (May–August) into the ‘shoulder’
annual average projections of rainfall suggest a
months of April and September/October and allow for
reduction for the end of the century, noting that this
a diversification of tourism activities, including the
decrease, however, is subject to a relatively high level
development of outdoor activities and the expansion of
of uncertainty. However, when examined by season, a
nature-based activities (Kelly and Stack, 2009;
clear signal of increasing level of precipitation in winter
Salmon, 2010). In addition, increasing temperatures
(0–14%) and decreasing precipitation in summer is
and atmospheric carbon dioxide may result in
apparent with reductions of 4–20% suggested (Nolan
increased autumn and spring grass yields, which will
et al., 2013b). Satellite observations indicate that sea
allow livestock farms increase profit by exploiting
levels around Ireland have risen by approximately 4–6
increases in grass production and reducing the use of
cm
long-term
concentrate feed (Teagasc, 2010), while adverse
measurements obtained from a tide gauge situated at
impacts of climate change experienced elsewhere may
Newlyn in Cornwall, reflective of the situation to the
create new market opportunities for Irish agriculture
south of Ireland, confirm this trend indicating a mean
(RIA, 2003).
since
the
early
1990s
and
SLR of ~1.7 mm per year since 1916 (Dwyer and
Devoy, 2013). This trend is projected to increase, with
1.2
Adaptation
global projections indicating an SLR of up to 0.98 m by
the end of the century relative to the period 1986–2005
Two complementary policies have been adopted to
(IPCC, 2013), while projected changes for the Irish sea
respond to the threat of climate change: mitigation and
indicate a sea-level rise of approximately 0.47 m by the
adaptation (Fig. 1.1). The first policy pursued in
end of the current century (Olbert et al., 2012).
response to climate change, mitigation, has been
defined as “anthropogenic intervention to reduce the
Globally, climate change will have wide-ranging effects
sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases”
(IPCC, 2007) and aims to alleviate the cause of climate
change by reducing the concentration of GHGs in the
atmosphere. The second policy response, adaptation,
aims to enable society to better cope with, manage or
adjust to changing climatic conditions. Adaptation has
been defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) as “adjustment in
natural or human systems in response to actual or
climate change stimuli or their effects, which
moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities”.
In summary, mitigation aims to address the causes of
climate change while adaptation aims to enable
society to better cope with, manage or adjust to climate
change (IPCC, 2001).
on the environment, society and the economy and
associated
sectors,
including
water
resources,
agriculture and food security, human health, terrestrial
environments and biodiversity and coastal zones. For
Ireland, changes in rainfall patterns are likely to lead to
increased risk of flooding and water shortages (Bastola
et al., 2011; Hall et al., 2013). Rising temperatures will
result in shifts in the growing season (Donnelly and
O’Neill, 2013) and changes in the distribution of
agricultural crops and disease vectors (Holden et al.,
2008).
Projected
temperature
increases
could
potentially severely increase rates of extinction for
many habitats and species (Byrne et al., 2003) and will
have a profound effect on our ability to conserve
species and the habitats on which they depend (Coll et
al., 2013). Increasing sea levels may result in coastal
Adaptation may be reactive or proactive, undertaken
inundation and erosion when combined with increased
autonomously or as part of a specifically directed
levels of storminess and the increased risk of storm
strategy. It may aim to build adaptive capacity, thereby
surge (Flood and Sweeney, 2012). Moreover, the
increasing the ability of individuals, groups or
occurrence of extreme weather events is projected to
organisations to adapt to climate change, or may
increase with potentially devastating consequences
involve the implementation of adaptive interventions
2
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
Figure 1.1. Summary diagram illustrating policy responses (mitigation and adaptation) to climate change
(Smit et al., 1999). GHG, greenhouse gas.
actions).
consequences for other individuals or sectors,
Adaptation actions/responses can be grouped into
resulting in maladaptation. Maladaptation occurs when
three broad categories (EEA, 2013):
an action increases rather than decreases overall
(i.e.
transforming
that
capacity
into
vulnerability to climate change impacts (DECLG,
1. ‘Grey’
actions
and
2012). Given the increased knowledge of expected
engineering solutions and examples include
climate change impacts, a planned and strategic
building or strengthening of coastal and river flood
approach to adaptation is required to reduce risk and
defence/dykes;
avail of any opportunities that climate change might
2. ‘Green’
actions
refer
to
refer
to
technological
bring. As different sectors are often closely interlinked,
ecosystem-based
adaptation
approaches that employ the multiple services of
is
a
cross-sectoral
issue
requiring
horizontal integration. In addition, adaptation is an
nature and seek to employ nature to conserve or
issue for all levels of governance and cuts vertically
enhance carbon stocks, and reduce carbon
across different levels of decision making from the
emissions caused by ecosystem degradation and
international (e.g. European Union (EU)), to the
loss. When green adaptation actions are part of
national level and from the national level to the regional
an organised spatial plan, they are referred to as
and local levels.
‘Green Infrastructure’; and
3. ‘Soft’ actions refer to managerial, legal and policy
Adaptation policy in Europe is relatively new and is
approaches that alter human behaviour and
being progressed principally through the EU Strategy
practices.
on Adaptation to Climate Change (EC, 2013). A key
objective of this strategy is to encourage all Member
Until recently, many adaptive actions have been both
States to adopt adaptation strategies, in turn providing
autonomous and reactive as individuals, households
the policy context for the development of adaptation
and organisations have independently adjusted their
plans and integrating adaptation measures into local
circumstances due to experiences or perceptions of
and sectoral activities. Currently, 16 European
climate risk. However, these autonomous adaptations
Environment
are considered to be less than optimal, as substantial
including Ireland, have developed national adaptation
inefficiencies and costs are typically incurred when
strategies (EEA, 2013). Ireland’s National Climate
compared with adaptation undertaken strategically.
Change Adaptation Framework (NCCAF) (DECLG,
Autonomous adaptation can also have unintended
2012) provides a strategic policy response to ensure
3
Agency
(EEA)
member
countries,
Development of an Irish climate information platform
that adaptation measures are taken across all sectors
and
how
different
elements
of
the
social,
and levels of governance to reduce Ireland’s
environmental and economic communities might
vulnerability to climate change. More specifically,
respond. The adaptation policy cycle (Fig. 1.2)
under the NCCAF (DECLG, 2012), the relevant
provides a framework to assist users in overcoming
government departments, state agencies and all local
this challenge and in developing climate adaptation
authorities are now mandated to commence the
plans. The first step in the cycle is an assessment of
preparation of sectoral and local adaptation plans. This
risks and vulnerability and following from this an
has resulted from the realisation that the adaptation
examination of adaptation options. The next step is to
challenge cuts across key economic sectors and,
implement the adaptation option and the final step is to
therefore, a wide range of policy areas and, as a
monitor and evaluate the approach adopted. Once this
consequence, adaptation issues and priorities must be
first iteration is complete, the cycle can begin again
integrated across the full breadth of economic and
with a reassessment of risks and vulnerability. The
development decision making. This is important
steps in the cycle can then be reconsidered
because local differences in physical environment,
periodically in order to ensure that adaptation
land use and demographics mean that the task of
decisions are based upon the most up-to-date data,
implementing adaptation is principally the concern of
knowledge and the evolving socio-economic and
regional and local-scale administrators, businesses
political context. In addition, the iterative nature of this
and populations.
process allows for monitoring and an assessment of
successes and failures of adaptation actions (EEA,
1.3
Delivering Adaptation Responses
2013).
Until recently, decision makers in Ireland tended to rely
1.4
on past records of climate to plan for the future.
Uncertainty
However, in the context of planning for a future that
Unfortunately, in planning for the future, key aspects of
includes projected global climate change, basing these
information, including climate change and socio-
plans on past records will prove inadequate, and
economic information, that are essential to adaptation
information is now required on how human-induced
planning are uncertain. In addition, for projected
warming may affect key climatic parameters and the
climatic
effects these changes will have for Ireland. Arriving at
regarding future climate, particularly the downscaled
an understanding of current and future climate change
impacts of global climate trends, results in the greatest
impacts at this scale is a major challenge for decision
levels of uncertainty attending local-scale climate
makers and requires consideration of a wide range of
impact projections (Fig. 1.3). However, in adaptation
potential impacts, where and when these may occur
planning, this uncertainty should not act as a barrier to
information,
our
Identify Goals
Typical
Monitor, Assess
& Review
Adaptive Management
Cycle
Assess Current &
Future Vulnerability
Develop & Implement
Plan
Figure 1.2. Schematic diagram of a typical adaptive management cycle.
4
incomplete
knowledge
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
Emission
scenarios of
greenhouse
gases and
aerosols
Global
climate
sensitivity
Impact
on global
carbon
cycle
Downscaling
to regional
changes
Range
of
possible
impacts
Figure 1.3. Range of major uncertainties, typical in climate change impact assessment, which result from
unknowable knowledge, uncertainty in model configuration and uncertainty due to the random nature of
natural forcing – commonly referred to as the cascade of uncertainty, with greatest levels of uncertainty
associated with the projection of local-scale impacts.
developing and implementing adaptation responses
and consequences are generally lacking and remain a
but should be employed to ensure robustness in
key barrier to adaptation (Biesbroek et al., 2010). Until
decision making.
recently, most information dissemination campaigns
about climate change have focused on the problem of
When providing climate science information, there is
mitigation and how citizens can help reduce GHG
no simple or single method for communication and, as
a
result,
issues
of
uncertainty
can
often
emissions through green energy, increased energy
be
efficiency and other measures to reduce emissions. In
misinterpreted as being of simple inaccuracy or error.
contrast to mitigation, where the message about what
In contrast to the short-term political view, the scientific
an individual can do is rather generic, for adaptation,
community has always adopted a long-term approach
effective
and the communication of its scientific output must be
dissemination
of
information
is
often
dependent on specific circumstances (as populations
just as strategic in its analysis, design, implementation
are not equally vulnerable), and as a result requires
and evaluation. Communication of the range of
specifically tailored information. Moreover, adaptation
expected future climate changes and accompanying
strategies typically emphasise the importance of
impacts must be undertaken in a clear and coherent
raising public awareness and capacity through
manner, and be understandable to those requiring
information provision (Biesbroek et al., 2010).
climate information if decision making is to be
adequately supported. Failure in this regard can result
In
in those needing to take action forming an exaggerated
adaptation information in the realms of both research
sense of the uncertainty (or certainty) of climate
and practice is poorly co-ordinated, with a wide variety
projection information.
of different organisations contributing data in an ad-
1.5
general,
the
dissemination
of
climatic
and
hoc manner. Usually, basic information on climate
Climate Information Platforms
adaptation is presented by national governments or
Despite the recent focus on climate change, a clear
the relevant ministry responsible for adaptation. More
awareness and understanding of its potential impacts
specialised information on expected climate changes
5
Development of an Irish climate information platform
by
be a useful tool as, globally, computer literacy is
meteorological organisations augmented by various
generally high, access is virtually universal, and
research institutes and programmes. The more recent
information can be inexpensively and easily updated
programmes on adaptation and vulnerability initiatives
and expanded. They can also provide a powerful tool
have tended to disseminate their information through
in creating awareness, facilitating public understanding
stakeholder discussions, workshops, conferences,
and informing about climate change impacts and
seminars, publications and web pages. As a result, it
adaptation options (Swart et al., 2009).
and
potential
impacts
is
made
available
can be difficult for decision makers and the public alike
to access, interpret and integrate the information
Currently, of the 32 EEA member countries, 15 have
required for planning for climate change adaptation.
developed websites (EEA, 2013). However, large
differences are apparent in the scope of information
In order to overcome this fragmentation of information
provided by these sites. Some contain a wide range of
and also to facilitate a more effective level of
information, including information on climate change,
interaction
an
sectoral and geographic impact information, and
increasingly common approach has been to support
generalised adaptation guidance. However, other sites
organisations working at the interface of science and
are less broad, are focused more on mitigation than
policy so that they can fulfil a co-ordinating role in
adaptation, and are built around a single organisation’s
providing climate and adaptation information tailored to
website rather than performing a co-ordinating role. Of
the needs of the end-users. One of the main tools
the 15 members that have developed websites, eight
employed to raise awareness and deliver information
are considered to have developed sites that provide a
at the science–policy interface is websites. These can
broad coverage in terms of adaptation (EEA, 2013).
between
science
and
policy,
6
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
2
Developing a Vision for a Prototype CIP
2.1
Introduction
2.2
In order to ensure that the prototype CIP addresses the
Current Status of Climate Adaptation
Planning in Ireland
needs of the key stakeholder groups in planning for
For Ireland, the overarching climate change policy
climate adaptation and that its design makes optimum
document is the National Climate Change Strategy
use of available information and data, an extensive
(DEHLG, 2000, 2007). The purpose of the Strategy
scoping strategy was put in place. This was utilised to
was to show how Ireland could meet its 2008–2012
develop a vision for the prototype CIP and entailed the
commitment of limiting its GHG emissions to 13%
following aspects, with outcomes outlined in the
above 1990 levels and to demonstrate which strategy
subsequent sections (Fig. 2.1):
measures will position Ireland for the post-2012 period.
As part of this policy, the Irish government committed
•
to developing a national adaptation strategy.
A review of the current status of adaptation
planning in Ireland;
The NCCAF (DECLG, 2012) provides the policy
•
A review of existing climatic information and data
context for a strategic national response to climate
for Ireland (observed and projected);
change and calls for the development of spatial/local
and sectoral adaptation plans. In order to determine
•
A comparison and critical review of existing
the preparedness of Irish decision makers for initiating
national CIPs; and
and delivering climate adaptation and to achieve the
requirements of the NCCAF, a review of the current
•
Direct stakeholder engagement through the
status of adaptation planning in Ireland has been
organisation of two workshops (to elicit feedback
undertaken by several researchers.
from expert users and data providers)
Spatial planning provides great potential to initiate and
The output from the above was then considered and
integrate climate adaptation objectives, particularly at
used to determine the final vision for the prototype CIP
the local and regional levels (Mickwitz et al., 2009).
which guided development and is detailed in the final
However, and for the most part in Ireland, climate risks
section of this chapter.
have yet to be systematically assessed in the area of
Review of existing
climate information
for Ireland
Review of existing
international CIPs
Vision for
Development
Review of current
status of adaptation
planning
Expert input
Figure 2.1. Summary diagram illustrating the framework employed in developing a vision for the delivery of
the prototype Climate Information Platform (CIP).
7
Development of an Irish climate information platform
planning (Shine and Desmond, 2011). This lack of
national and local). To a large extent, the challenge of
progress in implementation has been attributed to a
climate change policy is a test of the effectiveness of
number of factors, the most important of which have
policy integration across and between different policy
been identified as ‘a lack of awareness’, ‘a lack of
sectors (Desmond and Shine, 2013). The publication
understanding of climate change and its impacts’ and
of the NCCAF (DECLG, 2012), which provides for a
‘issues of integration’ (McGloughlin and Sweeney,
strategic
2011; Desmond and Shine, 2013; Falaleeva et al.,
adaptation, has achieved some success in addressing
2013).
issues of integration. However, in its current form,
national
response
to
climate
change
considerable potential remains for a shortfall in coAwareness raising is considered a soft adaptation
ordination between the various sectors and local
measure and aims to overcome the more common
authorities tasked with adaptation, resulting in a
barriers to the initiation of climate adaptation, such as
heightened
a lack of information, misunderstanding, scepticism
example, the NCCAF (DECLG, 2012) currently makes
and denial (EEA, 2013). In Ireland, a lack of awareness
no specific provision for co-ordinating adaptation
amongst the general public and decision makers
between neighbouring counties, or between sectors
concerning climate change and adaptation has
with clearly interdependent relationships to resources
resulted in a lack of prioritisation of climate adaptation
– such as those of the water management and
in spatial planning. In order to overcome this barrier,
agriculture sectors. Similarly, it remains unclear how
increased public consensus and resultant prioritisation
the conceptual/procedural adaptation plans of sectoral
by elected officials is required to initiate and advance
bodies will be coherently integrated with the inherently
the process of climate adaptation (McGloughlin and
spatial adaptation plans developed by local authorities.
risk
of
maladaptive
outcomes.
For
Sweeney, 2011).
At the sectoral level, some Irish sectors can be
In terms of understanding, the translation of the global
considered to be at the preliminary stages of
impacts of climate change to the local scale is required
preparedness for initiating adaptation and have begun
to allow decision makers redefine the problem of
to engage with adaptation in their planning; this,
climate for their area of operation and begin the
however is, for the most part, driven by international
process
example,
and EU obligations (Kopke and O’Mahony, 2011). For
Falaleeva et al. (2013) suggested that although there
example, a number of sectors have produced reports
was a general awareness of climate change amongst
that have made a start in examining sector-specific
Irish coastal communities, there was less of an
vulnerabilities to climate change. These include marine
understanding of its causes and effects. In particular,
and fisheries (e.g. Boelens et al., 2005), water
the identification of the link between global processes
management (e.g. Irish Academy of Engineers, 2007),
and consequential local impacts for Irish coastal
tourism and cultural heritage (e.g. Kelly and Stack,
communities varied significantly and, unsurprisingly,
2009), critical infrastructure (Mackey and Bree, 2009)
these perceptions influenced attitudes regarding the
and business (e.g. Forfas, 2010). However, it has been
urgency of action. As a result, it was suggested that
recognised that many of these reports have become
there was a need to make information comprehensive
outdated and need to take into account new and
and transparent to all and link data to the local context
emerging information (Kopke and O’Mahony, 2011).
(Falaleeva et al., 2013).
There is also a recognition amongst other sectors (e.g.
of
adaptation
planning.
For
agriculture) of the need to adapt to both the positive
climate
and negative impacts of climate change (Desmond
adaptation was the third key barrier identified.
and Shine, 2013). Therefore, there is a need for
Horizontal integration refers to links at a given level of
sectors to expand their approaches through the
government, both internally within an organisation and
incorporation of vulnerability and risk assessment,
externally among organisations at that level. Vertical
prioritisation, costing, identifying adaptation options,
integration focuses on interactions between different
adaptation planning, the implementation of adaptation
levels of government (e.g. international, European,
actions, and the evaluation and monitoring of these
Integration
(horizontal
and
vertical)
of
8
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
actions (Kopke and O’Mahony, 2011). The relatively
climate records are reflected in and comparable with
short time frame (mid-2014) to produce an adaptation
local and regional records of change (McElwain and
plan under the NCCAF (DECLG, 2012) has resulted in
Sweeney, 2007). In addition, observed climatic
several sectors (i.e. the Office of Public Works (OPW),
information and data can be employed as analogues of
the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine)
how
already expanding the scope of their adaptation
themselves in the future. For example, the 2003
strategies although there has been no central
summer heatwave in Europe provided an early insight
guidance offered with respect to the methodologies
into the possible environmental, societal and health
employed in doing so or how uniformity of process or
impacts of extreme temperatures that could become
outcome across the sectors might be achieved.
the norm by the 2040s (Stott et al., 2004). These
2.3
Review
of
Existing
Information for Ireland
climate
change
impacts
might
manifest
analogues are advantageous as they may be
Climatic
described in far greater temporal and spatial detail
than might otherwise be possible (Wilby et al., 2009).
The detection of a climate change signal, the
development of a clear understanding of the expected
For Ireland, and as a first step in examining whether
impacts of climate change and the ability of systems to
long-term changes in Ireland’s climate have occurred,
respond are all required to plan for climate change
McElwain and Sweeney (2003) examined changes in
adaptation. However, processes for the creation of
temperature and precipitation at 14 synoptic stations
climatic information are generally top–down rather
situated throughout Ireland and also with reference to
than bottom–up, are supply driven and are generally
data collected at the Armagh Observatory. Their
shaped by the interests of the researchers and the
findings indicated an increase in mean temperature
limited data available to them rather than by analyses
similar to those indicated globally. Following from this,
of user needs (Dinshaw et al., 2012). As a result,
McElwain and Sweeney (2007) updated this analysis
available climatic information and data can often be
and employed longer time series data and with a
challenging for users to access, understand and apply.
higher temporal resolution and confirmed the previous
In addition, decisions about climate change need to be
findings and identified a continuation of trends that
made at different spatial and temporal scales and,
were consistent with global observations of climatic
often, data and information from models, forecasts and
warming. For Ireland’s marine domain, and employing
other types of scientific data are not applicable at the
a variety of data sets from Ireland and elsewhere,
scales relevant to adaptation decision making.
Nolan et al. (2010) described the status and key
regulators of Ireland’s marine climate. While this
Shine and Desmond (2011) determined that there is
analysis was considerable, it highlighted the brevity of
now enough information available in Ireland to plan for
some of the available information and suggests that we
the positive and negative impacts of climate change.
are poorly equipped to make conclusions about the
This is confirmed by the wide variety of information
extent of climate change effects in Irish waters (Nolan
currently available on a wide range of climate
et al., 2010). The report does however confirm global
variables, projected changes in these, and a growing
understanding of the expected impacts of climate
patterns of increasing sea surface temperatures and
change. A review of this information is included below.
suggests that further research is required to increase
confidence in estimates of climate change impacts
2.3.1
(SLR, ocean acidification, alteration of food webs and
Observed climatic information
There is an increased awareness of the impacts of
downstream effects on coastal communities) and to
climate change on society and that policy decisions
facilitate the preparation of adaptation and mitigation
must be based on an understanding of trends in
strategies. Most recently, by considering a wide range
climate and changing frequencies and intensities of
of current and historical data sets, Dwyer (2013)
extreme events. It is, therefore, considered useful and
compiled a report on observed climatic changes for
necessary to regularly examine trends in climate-
Ireland’s
related data and to establish whether patterns in global
hydrological domains. This revealed that the majority
9
atmospheric,
oceanic,
terrestrial
and
Development of an Irish climate information platform
of observed changes reported for Ireland were
climatic changes that Ireland might face. The results
consistent with regional and global trends.
obtained were, however, based on the output of a
single
2.3.2
Projected climatic and impact information
General
Circulation
Model
(GCM)
and,
therefore, any policy decisions based on this approach
carry considerable risk. This was recognised by the
2.3.2.1 Projected climate changes for Ireland
authors and two subsequent studies, detailed under
As detailed in Table 2.1, various methodologies have
Sweeney et al. (2008) and McGrath and Lynch (2008),
been employed to project the future climate of Ireland
employed a wide range of climate models and these
and the results obtained have increased confidence in
were deemed to be representative of the range of
the likely changes expected whilst also identifying
projected future climate (including uncertainties)
areas that require further research (Fealy et al., 2008).
relevant to informing impact projection (Murphy and
However, these projections have been developed
Fealy, 2010). The former study employed statistically
using different methodologies, models and scenarios
downscaled GCM data from a range of GCMs and for
and considerations of aerosols and different aspects of
two emissions scenarios (A2 and B2) while the latter
the carbon cycle. In addition, they have employed
employed dynamically downscaled GCM data and
different time periods in terms of future simulations and
using a variety of emissions scenarios (A1B, A2, B1,
also for the control periods from which future changes
B2). For temperature, there is a consistency in the
are calculated. This makes it difficult to compare and
projections produced by Sweeney et al. (2008) and
contrast the outputs from each report.
McGrath and Lynch (2008), both suggesting that
The first comprehensive approach to climate change
temperatures will increase across all seasons and with
assessment for Ireland was undertaken by McWilliams
the greatest changes projected for summer and winter.
(1991), in which simple climate scenarios were
There is, however, some inconsistency in terms of
prescribed for employment in the modelling of climate
spatial variations in this increase. Sweeney et al.
change impacts for Ireland. Following from this work,
(2008) suggest that temperatures will increase most
Sweeney et al. (2003) used statistically downscaled
strongly in the interior, while McGrath and Lynch
global climate data to project climate changes and the
(2008) suggest that increases will be strongest in the
key sectoral impacts for Ireland for the periods 2041–
south and east of the country. For precipitation,
2070 and 2061–2090. This study marked a significant
differences in projected changes are apparent
enhancement in terms of our understanding of the key
between Sweeney et al. (2008) and McGrath and
Table 2.1. Summary details of methods, models and scenarios employed in downscaled climate
projections for Ireland. Details of temporal and spatial resolutions are also included.
Group
Approach
RCM
AOGCM
SRES
Period
Spatial resolution
Sweeney et al. (2003)
SDS
N/A
HadCM3
GGa1
2041–2070
2061–2090
10 km
Sweeney et al. (2008)
SDS
N/A
HadCM3
CGCM2
CSIRO Mk 2
A2
B2
2020–2080
N/A
McGrath and Lynch (2008)
DDS
RCA3
ECHAM 4/5
HadCM3L/3H
A1B
A2
B1
B2
2021–2060/2100
14 & 25 km
Nolan et al. (2013a,b)
DDS
CLM3
CLM3 (1) & (2)
CLM4 (1) & (2)
WRF
EC-Earth
HadGEM2
CGCM3.1
ECHAM5
RCP 4.5
RCP 8.5
A1B
B1
B2
2021–2060
7, 6 & 4 km
RCM, Regional Circulation Model; AOGCM, Atmosphere Ocean General Circulation Model; SRES, Special Report on Emission
Scenarios; SDS, statistical downscaling; DDS, dynamical downscaling.
10
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
Lynch (2008) and particularly for the middle of the
2011). Most recently, studies have begun to not only
century. The simulations produced by McGrath and
assess changes in the frequency and extent of flooding
Lynch (2008) project the greatest decreases in
and drought but also the vulnerability of individual
precipitation to occur in summer and along the west
water supply systems (e.g. Hall and Murphy, 2010).
coast of Ireland, while those produced by Sweeney et
Studies on the impact of climate change on Ireland’s
al. (2008) suggest that the greatest decrease in
agriculture have employed climate projection data in
precipitation will occur in summer but along the east
conjunction with a variety of cropping models to
and south coasts. Most recently, dynamic downscaling
evaluate changes in the spatial distributions of
of a range of GCM has been undertaken for Ireland for
economically important crop types (Holden and
the period 2021–2060 (Nolan et al., 2013a,b). These
Brereton, 2002; Holden et al., 2003). Following from
projections indicate an annual average increase in
these first-order impact assessments, the impacts of
temperature, with the largest changes projected for
climate change on agricultural production systems
summer and winter. For summer, the temperature
have also been assessed (Holden et al., 2008). An
gradient is from north-west to south-east, while for
analysis of changes in climatic zones for Ireland has
winter it is in direct contrast, with a south-west to north-
been undertaken in order to assess potential changes
east gradient (Nolan et al., 2013a). For precipitation, a
in the distribution of biodiversity in Ireland (Byrne et al.,
slight decrease in annual average levels is apparent
2003) and, more recently, climate projection data have
for the mid-century but, when examined seasonally,
been
there are substantial changes projected with wetter
distribution of biodiversity and habitats under expected
winters, particularly in the west, and drier summers,
climate change (Sweeney et al., 2013). The analysis of
particularly in the east (Nolan et al., 2013b).
impacts of SLR and changing frequencies and
employed
to
model
the
potential
future
intensities of storm surges on the Irish coast has also
2.3.2.2 Impact analysis
been undertaken (Fealy, 2003; Lozano, 2004; Wang et
As detailed in Table 2.2, outputs from downscaled
al., 2008), while the potential for Ireland’s future wind
modelling
been
energy resource has also been examined (Nolan et al.,
employed in analysing the potential impacts of future
2012a,b). Recently, an examination of specific impacts
climate change for Ireland. However, and similar to
of climate change on individual sectors including
climate modelling experiments undertaken for Ireland,
tourism (Tourism Climate Index) and construction
the projection of climate impacts have employed
(wind-driven rain and groundwater contamination) has
different time periods in terms of future simulations and
been undertaken (Sweeney et al., 2013).
experiments
for
Ireland
have
also for the control periods from which future changes
are calculated, and different methodologies, impact
2.4
models and scenarios. This makes it difficult to
Comparison and Critical Review of
Existing International CIPs
compare and contrast the outputs from each study and
outcomes can be dependent on the impact model
In order to inform the development of the prototype
employed. In addition, and in most instances,
CIP, a comparative and critical review of existing
projected impact analyses have been undertaken for
national CIPs was undertaken. The eight online
specific exposure units, e.g. catchments, and as a
platforms (websites) selected (detailed in Table 2.3)
result, their applicability to other sites is limited.
were considered to provide a broad coverage of
Nonetheless, the results indicate expected changes in
adaptation (EEA, 2013). In general, these focused on
climate impacts for Ireland and contribute to increasing
three key areas of information provision: awareness
confidence in the changes that are likely.
raising, information provision, and decision support, as
considered below.
Using conceptual rainfall run-off models, future
1. Awareness raising
changes in river flow have been simulated for Ireland
and for a number of specific Irish catchments (Charlton
As a first step in facilitating adaptation planning
and Moore, 2003; Charlton et al., 2006; Steele-Dunne
and overcoming the most common barriers to
et al., 2008; Hall and Murphy, 2010; Bastola et al.,
climate adaptation, such as a lack of awareness,
11
Development of an Irish climate information platform
Table 2.2. Summary details of methods, models and spatial resolution of downscaled impact projections
developed for Ireland and according to sector.
Sector
Parameter/Variable
Method
GCM/RCM
Impact model
Spatial resolution
Run-off
SDS
HadCM3
HYSIM
Gridded
Water supply &
flood hazard
SDS
HadCM3
HYSIM
Gridded
Wang et al. (2006)
Discharge
DDS
ECHAM4 & 5
HBV
Murphy and Charlton (2008)
Hydrology
SDS
HadCM3
HYSIM
Steele-Dunne et al. (2008)
Hydrology
DDS
ECHAM5
RCA 3
HBV
Water supply
SDS
HadCM3
GCM2
CSIRO Mk 2
WEAP21
Moy
Bastola et al. (2011)
Flood frequency
SDS
GCMs (17)
HyMOD
NAM
TANK
TOP
Individual catchments
(4)
Hall et al. (2013)
Water supply –
vulnerability
SDS
HadCM3
GCM2
CSIRO
HYSIM
WEAP
Boyne
Sweeney et al. (2013)
Water supply –
vulnerability
SDS
HadCM3
GCM2
CSIRO
HYSIM
WEAP
Boyne, Glore
Crop yield (grass)
SDS
HadCM3
Holden et al. (2003)
Crop yield
(potato, barley)
SDS
HadCM3
CERES
SUBSTOR
Holden et al. (2008)
Agricultural
production systems
SDS
HadCM3
CGCM2
CSIRO Mk 2
DSSAT
Climatic zones
SDS
Species & habitat
DDS
Hydrology
Charlton and Moore (2003)
Charlton et al. (2006)
Hall and Murphy (2010)
Individual catchment
(Suir)
Individual catchments
(Moy, Boyne, Ryewater,
Barrow, Suir,
Blackwater, Shannon)
Individual catchments
(Moy, Suck, Brosna,
Boyne. Barrow, Suir,
Blackwater, Feale,
Bandon)
Agriculture
Holden and Brereton (2002)
Johnstown Castle Gridded
Grass Model
Gridded
Selected sites
Biodiversity
Byrne et al. (2003)
Sweeney et al. (2013)
Gridded
HadCM3
RCA3
Dispersal
Gridded
Coastal & Marine
Fealy (2003)
Inundation
Lozano et al. (2004)
Storminess
DDS
ECHAM4 A-GCM
OAGCM
Europe
Wang et al. (2008)
Storm surge
DDS
ECHAM5/OM1
ROMS
Europe
Flood and Sweeney (2012)
National
Inundation
National
12
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
Table 2.2 contd
Sector
Parameter/Variable
Method
GCM/RCM
Impact model
Spatial resolution
Nolan et al. (2012a)
Wind energy
DDS
ECHAM4/
ECHAM5
RCA3
National
Nolan et al. (2012b)
Wind energy
DDS
ECHAM5
COSMO-CLM
National
Wind-driven rain
Septic water
treatment
DDS
HadCM3
RCA3
Tourism Climate
Index (TCI)
SDS
HadCM3
GCM2
CSIRO
Energy
Construction
Sweeney et al. (2013)
Airfield index
National (county)
Septic tank density
WFD
Tourism
Sweeney et al. (2013)
TCI
National
SDS, statistical downscaling; DDS, dynamical downscaling; GCM, General Circulation Model; RCM, Regional Circulation Model.
scepticism and denial, the majority of the
projected information on climatic changes was
platforms
displayed
provided
information
specifically
according
to
spatial
planning
designed to raise awareness of climate change
boundaries, e.g. at district level. In addition,
and adaptation. This awareness raising can be
information on projected climate change impacts
considered as a ‘soft’ adaptation measure (EEA,
was provided by some platforms and, for the most
2013) and was achieved in two ways:
part, was tailored to the specific needs of the
users, i.e. information was provided for key
(i) To make climatic and adaptation science
national impacts, e.g. projections of expected
understandable and overcome barriers such
SLR were provided for Holland. Information on
as scepticism, the majority of the sites
sectoral-specific impacts was also presented on
provided
and
the majority of the websites considered. However,
adaptation science more generally. This
this information was provided under a number of
information included details of, amongst
headings,
others, climate change, climate modelling,
Responsibility,
adaptation, mitigation and other key climatic
Information provided included general information
science concepts; and
on, amongst others, key impacts or threats,
information
on
climatic
including:
Sectors,
Resources
and
Sectoral
Activities.
opportunities and costs, best practice, adaptation
(ii) To make climate change relevant, the
options, surveys and studies and publications.
majority of the sites presented examples of
recently observed changes in climate and
3. Decision support
their associated impacts.
In order to facilitate adaptation planning, decision
2. Information provision
support formed a key component of many of the
For the majority of the sites projected climatic
adaptation platforms. In general, the decision
change and impact data formed a key component,
support
were presented both on-site and through external
assessments, which employed climatic data
links (e.g. directing to the relevant national
(historical, current and projected) to enable users
meteorological service), and by a number of
to identify current and future vulnerability. In some
means (text, tables and maps). For those sites
cases, the tools provided were generic and
that had developed climate information viewers,
provided information on incorporating adaptation
the information displayed was generally tailored to
into planning more generally (e.g. Norway), while
the needs of adaptation planning. For example,
others employed specific tools targeted at
13
provided
consisted
of
frameworks/
Table 2.3. Summary table detailing findings from a review of existing International Climate Information Platforms (CIPs). Summary details are provided
according to three criteria – awareness raising, information provision, and decision support.
Awareness raising
Information provision
Decision support
Austria
The Austrian Climate Portal
(http://www.accc.gv.at/englisch/inde
x.htm)
Information on climate science provided through a
Climate Basics link that details the causes of
climate change and its potential impacts.
Information on adaptation, Regional Circulation
Model (RCM), extreme events and sectoral-specific
impacts for some sectors are provided on-site.
Climatic information provided through external links,
while information on impacts for some selected
sectors is provided on-site.
Information on current international and
national climate policy is provided onsite.
Denmark
Climate Change Adaptation
(http://www.klimatilpasning.dk/)
Information on the expected future climate changes
for Denmark is presented. Importantly, information
provided is tailored to the needs of citizens,
municipalities and businesses.
Projected climatic changes are illustrated for
Denmark through an interactive map – Climatemap.
The sectoral impacts of climate change are also
described through a Sectoral Resource Area.
A range of tools is provided that focus
on the identification of future
vulnerabilities (e.g. BusinessWizard,
Climatemap, Climatemeter, Resilient
House).
Finland
Climateguide.fi
(http://ilmasto-opas.fi/en/)
A wide variety of materials is provided through the
Climate Change Explained resource. This includes
descriptions of observed changes in climate, the
causes of climate change and expected climatic
changes for Finland.
Observed and projected climate information is
displayed through a dedicated on-site map viewer –
Observed and Projected Climate.
Information on sectoral-specific
solutions (mitigation & adaptation) is
provided – Community Response
Wizard.
Germany
Climate Compass
(http://climate-compass.net)
Provides some basic information and employs
examples of current weather events to highlight
possible future changes in the climate of Germany
and expected impacts.
Information is predominately accessed through
external links.
The Climate Compass resource can be
considered a bottom–up adaptation
tool/framework.
Norway
(http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/m
d/kampanjer/engelsk-forside-forklimatilpasning.html?id=539980)
A wide range of information is provided through an
interactive Climate Change Adaptation Guide.
Projected climatic changes are presented for Norway
on-site, on a municipal basis. A wide range of other
information is delivered through links to reports and
guidance.
A range of planning tools is made
available to allow for an examination of
the overall climate situation.
Sweden
Swedish Portal for Climate Change
Adaptation
(http://www.klimatanpassning.se/)
A wide range of information is provided (e.g. how
climate is changing and impacts; sectoral impacts).
Projected changes in climate are illustrated through
an online map viewer maintained by the Swedish met
service.
A wide variety of tools is provided both
on-site and off-site – Adaptation Tool,
Natural Disaster Tool.
Switzerland
Klimaanpassung
(http://www.bafu.admin.ch/klimaanp
assung/index.html?lang=de)
Some detail on the sectoral impacts of climate
change is provided, information is accessed
primarily through links to reports.
Observed projected climatic changes are displayed
through an on-site web-based viewer (viewable to a
district level).
No decision support tools are provided.
UK
UK Climate Impacts Programme
(http://www.ukcip.org.uk/)
A wide variety of awareness-raising information is
made available through the New to Adaptation
resource.
Climate information is accessed through external
links (UKCP09).
A wide range of tools is provided which
are tailored towards particular user
groups (e.g. BACLIAT, LCLIP,
Adaptation Wizard).
Development of an Irish climate information platform
14
Site
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
particular areas (e.g. local authorities, private
2.5
industry and small to medium-sized enterprises
Direct Stakeholder Engagement
The first phase of the ICIP project aimed to tailor
(SMEs) – Scotland). The United Kingdom Climate
existing
and
relevant
climatic
and
adaptation
Impacts Programme (UKCIP) provided the widest
information and data to the needs of the key user
range of tools for the general public, private
groups in planning for climate adaptation, deliver this
business and government.
information through the prototype CIP, and to act as a
bridging organisation between data providers and
In order to aid adaptation planning, the inclusion
users in order to best serve the needs of the user
legislation and regulation are important. However,
groups and make best use of available information and
the inclusion of relevant/associated legislative
data (Fig. 2.2). As a result, the engagement of these
information varied greatly among the websites
groups formed an integral part of both developing a
examined,
with
the
majority
vision for, and delivering, the prototype CIP itself.
considering
legislative information on a national basis,
In establishing a vision for development for the
although some also included detailed information
prototype CIP, two key workshops were held, involving
on international climate policy. The inclusion of
expert users and data providers. An initial consultation
legislative information on a sectoral basis
workshop entitled Assessing the Information Required
national
for Climate Change Adaptation Planning was held with
requirements for planning. For example, the
sectoral experts in Dublin on 9 May 2012 and sought
appeared
Scottish
to
be
platform
guidelines,
e.g.
determined
details
Flood
by
relevant
Risk
to identify the information required to plan for
flooding
adaptation to climate change by a number of important
Management
Irish sectors. This workshop was complemented by a
(Scotland) Act 2009, in the water management
second entitled Ireland’s Climate Information Platform
sector link, while the Norwegian platform dealt
(ICIP) – Employing available downscaled climate
projection data for Ireland, which was held with the key
data providers in Dublin on 9 July 2012, with the
purpose of garnering expert feedback and advice on
with legislation and regulations extensively as the
incorporation of adaptation into regional planning
is required by law.
Sectoral Information
Data
Providers
Adaptation
Information
Climatic
Information
Development
Refining
ICIP
Development
Prototyping
Testing
Feedback
Users
Figure 2.2. Schematic diagram illustrating the bridging role played by Ireland’s Climate Information
Platform (ICIP) between data providers and users.
15
Development of an Irish climate information platform
the employment of available downscaled climate
planning, and the employment of climatic information
projection data for Ireland. This process was
and data in this planning. Participants subsequently
augmented by several formal and informal meetings
participated in three interlinked breakout sessions
with the key data providers to establish access to key
organised on a sectoral basis with workshop attendees
and raw data holdings and to assess the potential for
assigned to sectors most relevant to their respective
inclusion of same in the prototype CIP.
backgrounds and expertise. As illustrated in Fig. 2.3,
the first breakout session examined the projected
2.5.1
impacts of climate change on sectoral operations, the
Expert User Workshop
second considered current sectoral planning practices
Expert opinion is considered a useful method of
and the third discussed the information required to
obtaining a rapid assessment of the state of knowledge
allow sectoral planning for adaptation to the projected
concerning the effects of climate change on a given
impacts of climate change.
exposure unit (IPCC, 1994). This workshop (Assessing
the Information Required for Climate Change
Adaptation Planning) brought together a number of
important sectors of the Irish economy (Agriculture and
Forestry; Biodiversity; Coastal, Marine and Fisheries;
Critical Infrastructure; Tourism and Cultural Heritage;
and Water Management) to discuss collectively their
information requirements with respect to planning for
adaptation.
The primary outcomes from the workshop were that
participants confirmed that all the sectors considered
are concerned about the impacts of climate change
and were aware of the projected impacts of climate
change on their respective sector. Key concerns
include:
In order to set the scene, the workshop started with a
•
Increased risk of coastal and river flooding;
•
Increasing temperatures;
•
Decreased levels of summer precipitation;
•
The increased frequency of heat waves; and
•
Extreme weather events.
series of presentations examining climate change
implications for Ireland and current approaches to
adaptation
decision
making.
Following
these
presentations, a questionnaire survey was distributed
to, and completed by, all participants to gather
information on sectoral concerns relating to current
and projected climates, the significance of current and
There was general recognition among participants of
projected climate variability and extremes to sectoral
the availability of information and data to support
1. Potential Impacts & Opportunities
Establish the significance
of climate for each sector
Discuss and identify the
key impacts and
opportunities of projected
climate futures for each
sector
2. Current Planning Practices
Examine current planning
practices and horizons
Identification of sources of
information employed in
current/future planning
and attributes of these
Examine how information
is employed
3. Information Requirements
Identification of the
information required to
plan for climate change
Examination of how this
information might be used
Discussion of the key
information attributes
Figure 2.3. Summary diagram detailing the aims of the three breakout sessions undertaken as part of the
Expert User Workshop – Assessing the Information Required for Climate Change Adaptation Planning .
16
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
Plate 2.1. Photograph of breakout sessions held as part of the Ireland’s Climate Information Platform (ICIP)
workshop Assessing the Information Required for Climate Change Adaptation Planning.
planning for climate change. However, for the most
appropriate actions (Demeritt and Langdon, 2004).
part, due to relatively short-term planning horizons and
The lack of accessibility to user-friendly climatic
the differing aims of current planning practices (e.g.
information has also been identified as a key barrier to
meeting EU requirements), existing planning practices
adaptation both nationally (Falaleeva et al., 2013) and
were not deemed adequate in terms of underpinning
for Europe (Hanger et al., 2013). Consequently, the
the development of any adaptation plan or strategy.
prototype CIP aims to provide climate information in a
form that is accessible, and of use, to users. In order to
Information identified by participants as being required
develop the best options for employing existing
for sectoral planning for adaptation to climate change
downscaled climate projection data for Ireland, a
included projected changes in climatic variables and
information
concerning
specific
sectoral
workshop was held with the key climate data providers
assets/
to garner expert feedback and advice on the
attributes that are thought to be affected by climatic
employment
change. For projected climate change, key information
of
available
downscaled
climate
projection data for Ireland. This workshop aimed to
included SLR, waves and surges, temperatures,
address a number of key issues regarding the
precipitation, ground and surface water run-off and
employment of available and downscaled climate
phenology. Information required for sectoral assets/
projection data for Ireland.
attributes included, amongst others, location data for
infrastructure/ecosystem services, existing design and
tolerance data for coastal infrastructure, and soil and
1. Integration of available climate projection data
land-cover data. In combination, this information would
As described previously, a range of climate
be used primarily for undertaking risk assessment for
projection data currently exists for Ireland
current assets and in planning for future development.
(McGrath and Lynch, 2008; Sweeney et al., 2008;
In addition, and importantly, information elicited
Nolan et al., 2013a,b) and this has been
through this workshop has identified areas where
determined as being adequate to begin the
baseline information for planning for climatic change is
process of adaptation planning (Shine and
currently lacking.
Desmond, 2011). However, these projections
were the result of a variety of modelling efforts,
2.5.2
Data Provider Workshop
employing different models (GCM and Regional
The prototype CIP has the specific aim of facilitating
Circulation Models (RCMs)), scenarios and time
sectoral and regional planners in employing climatic
periods and therefore are difficult to compare (not
information and data in their adaptation planning.
standard). Nonetheless, and as agreed by all
However,
specific
workshop attendees, existing climate projections
information about climate change impacts available
can be considered as advantageous as they
has been shown not to be effective in motivating
provide for a range of plausible futures/ensembles
simply
making
more
locally
17
Development of an Irish climate information platform
of projected climate changes and should be
of adapting to climate change. Whilst a degree of
employed within the prototype CIP.
ambiguity surrounds the current status of any
adaptation plans and strategies resulting from this
2. Standardisation of existing climate projection
work, it is likely that future legislation will seek to
data
legitimise adaptation as a central aim of local and
Currently, existing climate projection data for
sectoral planning.
Ireland have been developed at a variety of
temporal and spatial scales. In order to allow for
The development and delivery of the prototype CIP
comparison of individual climate projections and
aims to facilitate decision makers in Ireland to begin
for
the
employment
of
the
full
ensemble
of
process
of
adaptation
through
increasing
projections, it was agreed that existing climate
understanding and subsequently transitioning decision
projection data should be standardised on a
makers through the planning and management phases
spatial and temporal basis.
of the adaptation process. More specifically, as
outlined below and in the context of an idealised
3. Development of data for employment in
adaptation cycle, the prototype CIP aimed to address
adaptation planning
three key areas of information provision to facilitate
Development of climate projection data for
decision makers in undertaking the process of
incorporation in the prototype CIP requires the
adaptation planning (Fig. 2.4):
development of the data for employment in
adaptation planning. Uncertainty forms a key
1. Awareness Raising and Understanding;
barrier to the employment of climate projection
2. Provision of Climate Information; and
data by decision makers and, as a result, it was
thought essential that the prototype CIP attempts
3. Decision Support
to address this issue. It was agreed that as a first
step in dealing with issues of uncertainty in model
From the above, the key barriers to initiating and
prediction, the prototype CIP should allow users to
supporting adaptation were identified as the lack of:
examine the full range of climate projection data
1. Awareness and understanding;
and inter-model difference in projection. This
allows for the evaluation of the full range of
2. Tailored, locally applicable data; and
potential future changes and on this basis serves
to enhance the quality and robustness of
3. Tools that enable use of climate change data.
decisions taken. Robustness to uncertainty is one
Therefore the vision of the prototype CIP was to:
of the key indicators of the effectiveness of an
adaptation action, along with the ability and
•
flexibility to change (Adger et al., 2005).
2.6
Increase understanding of climate change and
adaptation by providing decision makers with the
information they require to interpret and assess
Vision for Development
how the effects of global climate change might
Currently, Ireland can be considered to be at the early
impact upon their areas of operation and further
stages of the adaptation planning process. Until
how the adaptation process can be employed to
recently, climate adaptation has not been considered a
enable planning for adaptation to these impacts;
high priority for decision makers in Ireland. This was
•
due to a lack of a statutory requirement to address
Assemble, integrate and tailor climatic, impact
climate adaptation concerns and also due to a lack of
and risk information for employment by decision
awareness amongst decision makers and the public
makers in planning for climate change. This will
more generally. However, the recently published
allow for an increased understanding of expected
NCCAF (DECLG, 2012) provides a (albeit non-
climate change impacts and for the (re)definition
statutory) mandate for planners and administrators at
of the climate change problem for a specific
sectoral and local authority levels to begin the process
location/sector of operation; and
18
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
Figure 2.4. Diagram illustrating the three areas of informational provision and support (Awareness Raising
and Understanding, Provision of Climate Information and Decision Support) identified as being required to
initiate and plan for climate adaptation in Ireland and in the context of an idealised adaptation process.
•
Develop a set of tools to allow decision makers to
the requirements of the NCCAF (DECLG, 2012).
employ the information made available through
This is because it is now essential that decision
the prototype CIP in their planning. These tools
makers begin to employ climate information and
would be designed to facilitate Ireland’s decision
data in developing their adaptation strategies and
makers in transitioning from the understanding
incorporate these strategies into their existing
phase of the adaptation planning cycle to the
planning practices.
planning and managing phases and in meeting
19
Development of an Irish climate information platform
3
Delivering a Prototype CIP
As part of the visioning exercise (see Chapter 2), three
decision
making),
adaptation
key areas of information provision and support were
implemented despite this uncertainty.
can
be
identified as being required to facilitate the initiation
Information on climatic science is provided through the
and progression of climate adaptation in Ireland:
climate change section of the Climate Ireland
1. The provision of information on climate change
resource. This defines climate by identifying the
and adaptation to increase awareness and
differences between climate and weather, describes
understanding of same;
the
mechanisms
that
have
resulted
in
the
anthropogenic forcing of climate, subsequent and
2. The integration, tailoring and provision of existing
expected climatic changes and potential impacts, and
climatic, impact and risk information for Ireland to
clarifies the distinction between direct and indirect
allow decision makers to redefine the problem of
impacts. Following from this, scientific evidence for
climate change for the area; and
observed changes in climate is provided on both a
global and a national basis and the motives for
3. The provision of decision support tools to facilitate
adaptation outlined. This is augmented by a summary
decision makers in employing climatic information
of observed evidence for climate change, as reported
and data in their planning for climate change
by Dwyer (2013). The process of modelling future
adaptation.
climate is then described and the various sources of
The delivery of the prototype CIP was predicated on
uncertainty
the development of a web-enabled information system,
projections explained. Following from this, global and
Climate
Ireland
resource
(http://www.
climateireland.ie), which is both flexible and
expandable and thus meets the requirements of both
the data providers and the decision makers. As such,
it will be able to readily accommodate new and
updated climate projection data as and when these
data become available, and it will be portable and
readily transferable where and when required.
national-level projections of climate change are
the
3.1
Awareness
Understanding
Raising
in
developing
downscaled
climate
summarised.
Information on adaptation science is provided through
the adaptation section of the Climate Ireland resource.
This
first
defines
and
describes
adaptation,
differentiates between mitigation and adaptation, and
describes
the
variety
of
adaptation
responses
available to decision makers. This is followed by a
description of issues of uncertainty and the means by
and
which adaptation can address these uncertainties, e.g.
adaptive management and robust decision making.
There are significant issues in this area (see Chapter 2
Adaptation policy, both international and national (e.g.
for details) and as a result, the prototype CIP aims to:
the NCCAF (DECLG, 2012)), is also described and a
framework for managing adaptation outlined.
•
•
Provide materials to develop and improve users’
understanding of climatic and adaptation science;
3.2
Develop an understanding amongst users of the
Information on the expected impacts of climate change
uncertainties inherent in projecting future climate
is delivered through three tools:
and its impacts; and
•
Information Provision
1. The Climate Information Tool;
Enable users to develop an understanding of
2. The Climate Hazard Scoping Tool; and
how, by adopting a variety of management
3. The Sectoral Adaptation Information Tool.
approaches (e.g. adaptive management, robust
20
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
The Climate Information Tool provides decision
barrier but rather wished for better accessibility and
makers with a one-stop resource of downscaled
user friendliness of existing data (Hanger et al., 2013).
climate change projections for Ireland, the Climate
Moreover, for decision makers working in Irish coastal
Hazard Scoping Tool facilitates decision makers in
examining their exposure to key expected climate
change impacts, while the Sectoral Adaptation
Information Tool provides sectoral-specific climatic
and adaptation information.
communities, accessibility of information was identified
as a key barrier to the incorporation of climatic
information and data into planning (Falaleeva et al.,
2013). As a result, in order to provide decision makers
with a robust understanding of expected climatic
changes for Ireland and to enable decision makers to
3.2.1
Climate Information Tool
make best use of available climatic information and
In order to initiate, plan for and manage climate
data, a key part of development involved the collation,
adaptation, decision makers now require information
standardisation and integration of existing climate
on how human-induced warming may affect key
projection data into a single application.
climatic
parameters,
such
as
precipitation
and
temperature, and the effects these changes will have
The Climate Information Tool allows decision makers
on their region of interest (IPCC, 2012). As detailed in
to access and query the range of downscaled and
Section 2.3.2, a wide range of climatic information
projected climatic data for Ireland1 and overcomes
currently
these
issues of differences in the spatial and temporal
projections, which have been produced using different
resolution of these projections (Fig. 3.1). Temporally,
techniques, models and scenarios, are available in a
projected climatic data are displayed at a decadal
variety of formats and with differing means of access.
resolution, a period that is long enough to filter out any
As a result, decision makers face a number of
inter-annual variation or anomalies but yet short
challenges
exists
in
for
Ireland.
accessing
and
However,
employing
this
1. Currently, climate projection data produced by Sweeney et
al. (2008) and Nolan et al. (2013a,b) are available through
the Climate Information Tool.
information. For example, at a European level,
decision makers did not see a lack of information as a
Overall Range of
Projections for Area
of Interest
Area of Interest:
Provincial/Regional
Counties
Winter
Precipitation
ensemble Change
2050s
Season of Interest:
Spring, Summer, etc.
Variable of interest:
.Precipitation, Temperature, etc.
Scenario of interest:
High/Medium/Low
Value:
Absolute/Change
Period of interest:
2030s, 2040s, etc.
Figure 3.1. Example of the prototype Climate Information Platform (CIP) Climate Information Tool with the
variety of options for users to query data indicated.
21
Development of an Irish climate information platform
enough to reveal longer climatic trends (IPCC, 2007).
each impact2, the aim of the tool is to make best use of
Spatially, climate projection data are projected on a
available information for Ireland in order to facilitate
provincial and county basis, the spatial extent that
decision makers in determining their location-specific
corresponds with areas of local government in Ireland.
exposure to the projected impacts of climate change.
Importantly,
3.2.2
Climate Hazard Scoping Tool
this
tool
describes
and
illustrates
uncertainties relating to projected changes in exposure
Exposure to climatic stresses is a key determinant of a
to hazards. Employing available information and data,
system’s/area’s
both spatial and non-spatial, this is achieved through
vulnerability
to
climate
change
impacts (Fig. 3.2). Vulnerability (physical or social) to
the provision of:
climate change determines the potential impact on a
•
given system and is determined by a system’s
A description of the climatic hazard under
examination;
exposure and sensitivity to climatic stresses and
adaptive capacity (or ability to adapt), which is
determined
by
available
economic
•
resources,
A description of current levels of exposure to the
availability and access to technology (e.g. warning
climatic hazard using current and historical
systems), information and skills, social infrastructure
observational information and data, both spatial
and institutions. In order to determine current and
and non-spatial; and
future levels of vulnerability, an understanding of levels
•
of exposure to climate stresses is required.
An assessment of how exposure to these
hazards might change (spatially and temporally)
The Climate Hazard Scoping Tool (Fig. 3.3) aims to
2. To date, impacts examined include coastal flooding, coastal
erosion, inland flooding, water scarcity and loss of
biodiversity.
facilitate decision makers in examining their current
and potential future exposure to climate hazards. For
Figure 3.2. Diagram illustrating the factors that contribute to a system’s level of vulnerability (sensitivity,
exposure and adaptive capacity). The Climate Hazard Scoping Tool aims to facilitate users in determining
their current and future levels of exposure.
22
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
Figure 3.3. An example of the prototype Climate Information Platform’s (CIP’s) Climate Hazard Scoping
Tool.
in the future by employing available projected
important that users also consider cross-sectoral
climatic change and impact analyses.
dependencies – for example the link between
agricultural impacts and water management.
3.2.3
Sectoral Adaptation Information Tool
Drawing on a wide range of national and international
For the key sectors of the Irish economy3, climate
information and data (spatial and non-spatial), the
change will result in a range of different challenges,
Sectoral
with varying opportunities, and planning for climate
Adaptation
Information
Tool
facilitates
change adaptation on a sectoral basis forms a
decision makers in coming to an understanding of how
requirement of the NCCAF (DECLG, 2012). As a
climate change might affect their sector of operation
Tool
and how they might adapt to these changes. In order
(Fig. 3.4) has been developed, which aims to facilitate
to increase understanding of the effects of climate on
decision makers in coming to an understanding of what
sectoral operations and for each of the sectors
climate change might mean for their sector of
examined, a description of the individual sector and its
operation and how they might begin to plan for
current sensitivity to climatic variability and extremes is
adaptation. However, when employing this tool, it is
first provided. A description of the sectoral-specific
result,
a
Sectoral
Adaptation
Information
impacts and opportunities presented by climate
3. The Sectoral Adaptation Information Tool currently
examines the following sectors: Agriculture, Forestry,
Biodiversity, Coastal Areas, Marine and Fisheries, Critical
Information, Tourism and Cultural Heritage, and Water
Management.
change is also provided and a variety of adaptation
options described. This is complemented by a list of
additional informational resources.
23
Development of an Irish climate information platform
Figure 3.4. A screenshot of the prototype Climate Information Platform’s (CIP’s) Sectoral Adaptation Tool.
3.3
climate change on a location, the impacts of change on
Decision Support
a particular system/s (e.g. hydrological system) and an
Adapting to climate change is a highly complex
exploration of the economic and non-economic costs
undertaking for decision makers at all levels of
of
government, but particularly those at the local scale.
implementing
particularly
measures.
affected
These
While adaptation policy is developed at the national
approaches
level (e.g. DECLG, 2012), local differences in physical
ballooning of uncertainties and relied on the ability of
environment, land use and population make the task of
climate and impact models to generate high-quality
implementing adaptation principally the concern of
information that could be meaningfully deployed in
regional and local-scale administrators. In order to
adaptation planning. Decisions would therefore be
transition Ireland from the understanding phase of the
based on optimisation against a range of probability
adaptation cycle through to planning and management
distributions and, as a result, under situations of
phases, the prototype CIP aims to provide users with
ambiguity, the decisions arrived at were typically overly
decision support tools to facilitate them in making best
sensitive to uncertainty. As a result of these
use of the information made available through the
shortcomings, a policy-first approach is gaining
prototype CIP in initiating and planning for adaptation
traction in guiding adaptation planning, e.g. NCCAF
to climate change.
were
adaptation
by
the
(DECLG, 2012). This advocates starting at the scale of
Until recently, the science-first approach predominated
the adaptation problem – first specifying objectives and
in adaptation planning, under which a relatively linear
constraints and assessing current vulnerability – and,
conception of climate impact projections in turn
then, employing available climate projection data,
spurring adaptation action was the norm. The science-
characterising future climate risks and developing a
first approach typically began with an assessment of
strategy capable of perpetuating an adaptation
24
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
process as one of continuous improvement and
information, the tool adopts a tiered approach to risk
learning.
assessment
information
3.3.1
Adaptation Support Tool
whereby
is
the
staggered
delivery
and
of
tailored
climate
to
the
requirements of the decision-making context (Ranger
ICIP’s Adaptation Support Tool is aimed at a wide
et al., 2010). In contrast to the science-first approach,
range of users (e.g. decision makers, business, the
where
general public) and aims to allow users to take full
prerequisite to assessing vulnerability, users are
advantage of and integrate the different information
encouraged to first undertake a broad assessment of
made available through the Climate Ireland resource
the current and likely future sensitivity of the system
as part of the development of their adaptation plans.
they manage. This is achieved using a sensitivity
Development of the tool is based upon findings gained
analysis,
from communications with the key stakeholder groups
assessment that allows for an exploration of climate
(data providers and users), available and existing
sensitivity with stakeholders – a learning-by-doing
international climate adaptation tools (e.g. the UKCIP
approach.
Adaptation Wizard and the EU Climate-Adapt
Adaptation Support Tool), and adaptation frameworks
proposed by Ranger et al. (2010), Stocker et al. (2012)
and the EEA (2013).
importance of relevant climate variables, stakeholders
detailed
which
By
climatic
involves
examining
projection
a
rapid
and
data
are
a
vulnerability
discussing
the
can consider the adaptation policies, programmes and
procedures they currently employ, the important
thresholds or criteria they use in management and how
the relevant climate variables associated with these
The tool involves six stages4, detailed in the following
thresholds or criteria might change under projected
sections, and facilitates users through the adaptation
climate change (Jones and Boer, 2004), and the
planning process from identifying their area of planning
nature of the effects. Detailed quantitative climatic data
and the key stakeholders involved to developing and
are not required for this assessment and high-level,
implementing an adaptation plan (Fig. 3.5). The tool
broad-brush qualitative information on projected
adopts a participatory mapping approach which
climate changes is sufficient. On this basis, and in
functions as a vehicle for stakeholder deliberation and
combination with an understanding of current and
engagement (Stocker et al., 2012). In order to help
historical vulnerability, decision makers can begin to
users overcome the uncertainties in climate projection
identify the extent to which the opportunities and risks
presented by climate change are important to their
4. Stages 4 and 5 of the Adaptation Support Tool are still in
development.
location and system of interest. This broad-scale
Figure 3.5. The Adaptation Support Tool framework.
25
Development of an Irish climate information platform
assessment of future sensitivities also allows decision
appropriate) and the identification of what
makers to identify where adaptation might be required
information might be needed by whom and more
in the future, where more detailed climatic and other
importantly, why.
information might be required and what measures are
There are many different motivations for planning
available to them.
for climate adaptation and these include curiosity,
Stage 1 (Getting Started)
awareness raising, exposure to a recent extreme
Stage 1 of the process involves three tasks:
weather event, concern about property or
community business or infrastructure, the need to
1. Determination of the boundaries of the
make decisions with long-term consequences for
geographical area or community and
land use, built assets or population groups and the
2. Identification of relevant stakeholders
identification of new opportunities.
The delineation of the area or community for
which an adaptation plan is to be developed is an
Once users have identified their motivations, the
important first step in the adaptation planning
identification of what is to be achieved through the
process as it allows for the determination of key
adaptation process (objectives) is important. To
resources or activities to be examined and the
do this, users must identify the problem that they
stakeholders to be included in the project team
are faced with, what is intended to be achieved
(Stocker et al., 2012). In addition, it is also
through the adaptation process, and how the
important to identify dependencies that are
success/failure in meeting these objectives will be
situated external to the area or community under
assessed. In addition, at this stage of the analysis,
investigation,
it is also important for decision makers to identify
e.g.
transport
system
dependencies.
any constraints that they might face.
For each community, there will likely be a wide
Stage 2 (Structure the Problem)
range of stakeholders and the identification and
Stage 2 involves four tasks:
engagement of all relevant stakeholders is a
1. Participatory mapping of current exposure
crucial step in developing an adaptation plan. This
is because engagement generally improves the
This initial step allows users to come to a
likelihood of anticipated outcomes from decision
collaborative understanding of those areas that
making (Gardner et al., 2009). This is an important
are currently exposed to the impacts of climatic
step as adaptation is highly contextualised and no
and weather events (Fig. 3.6). This will provide the
single adaptation approach will work with every
user with important insight into how their area has
community as the adaptation required will vary
been impacted upon previously, which will help
markedly between different stakeholder groups.
the user scope how future climate change might
In addition, adaptation will in some cases require
affect their area. This is because climate change
substantial changes in local practices and these
is expected to exacerbate existing vulnerabilities
have a better chance of success if they originate
and those locations currently most affected by
in a process that involves engagement.
weather-related factors are also likely to be those
most impacted upon by climate change. It is also
3. Determination of motivations, objectives and
thought that adaptation to short-term climate
constraints
variability and extreme events will reduce
When starting out on the process of adaptation, it
vulnerability to longer-term climatic change
is important that users identify their motivations for
(IPCC, 2012).
planning for climate change adaptation. This will
allow for a consideration of the scope and level of
Employing a participative approach, previous
analysis required (would a broad strategic view be
weather events that impacted upon the user’s
most appropriate or would a more detailed
area in the recent past (e.g. within the last 10
assessment of one aspect of activity be more
years) are identified. Following from this, and
26
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
Figure 3.6. An example of a participatory mapping exercise to an identify area under investigation (Map
data©2014 Google, SIO, NOAA, US Navy, NGA, GEBCO). This mapping can be done by employing a wide
range of means including electronic and paper-based maps.
employing the map generated through Step 1, for
provided through the Climate Ireland resource as
each event identified, those areas exposed are
rows and columns, respectively (Fig. 3.8).
delineated, the key activities and resources
2. Assessment of current levels of vulnerability
identified, and the relevant climate variables
(increasing average temperature; temperature
For those key activities and resources impacted
extreme; extreme rainfall; drought; fluvial, pluvial
upon, a qualitative approach is adopted to identify
current levels of vulnerability. This involves
and coastal flooding; rising sea level; storm surge;
ranking each of the identified activities and
increasing ocean temperatures; changing ocean
resources according to level of exposure,
chemistry; extreme winds) determined (Fig. 3.7).
sensitivity and adaptive capacity. In the first
In addition, and for each weather event, the
instance, this can be achieved using qualitative
identification of impacts that happened external to
but
had
implications
investigation
(e.g.
infrastructure
or
for
the
disruption
power
supply)
area
of
measures such as low, medium, and high scores
under
(1–3) (Fig. 3.8). On this basis, a vulnerability score
transport
will be calculated based on each of the resources
should
be
or activities under consideration (Fig. 3.9).
identified.
3. Assessment
of
expected
future
and
The identified variables and activities/resources
unadapted vulnerability
are used to populate the vulnerability matrix
Based on an analysis of current levels of
27
Development of an Irish climate information platform
Figure 3.7. An example of a participatory mapping exercise to identify areas currently considered
vulnerable to climatic variability and extremes (Map data©2014 Google, SIO, NOAA, US Navy, NGA,
GEBCO).
vulnerability and the particular climatic changes
vulnerability is established, decision makers are
that the area of interest is thought to be subject to,
then tasked with characterising how these
a qualitative assessment is made of how expected
increases/decreases in vulnerability might affect
climate change might increase/decrease current
the resources and activities that are considered to
levels of vulnerability. This is achieved by forcing
be of importance within their area of interest. This
the vulnerability matrix with scenarios of climatic
is achieved through an examination of the maps
change and more specifically by changing the
created as part of Stages 1 and 2 and an
levels of exposure attributed to each climatic
assessment of how the effects of climatic changes
variable (Fig. 3.10). This allows decision makers
on levels of vulnerability, identified in the previous
to develop a better understanding of possible
task, might manifest themselves.
future
vulnerability
to
climate
change
by
identifying resources/activities considered to be
Stage 3 (Goals, Objectives & Constraints)
particularly vulnerable to expected future climate
Once an understanding has been developed of how
change or those climatic changes that are of
the future impacts of climate change might manifest
particular importance to the location they are
themselves, decision makers are then tasked with
considering.
prioritising
potential
impacts
according
to
their
motivations for planning for climate adaptation and the
4. Characterisation of potential future exposure
specific objectives identified through Step 1. This
prioritisation can be based upon, amongst others, a
Once an understanding of potential future
28
exposure (EXP.), sensitivity (SENS) and adaptive capacity (ACAP).
29
Figure 3.9. Vulnerability Score – On the basis of users rankings, a vulnerability score is calculated for each of the activities and resources and according
to climatic variable.
Figure 3.10. Future Unadapted Vulnerability Matrix – On the basis of projected changes of exposure to climatic variables, levels of potential future and
unadapted vulnerability are developed.
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
Figure 3.8. Vulnerability Matrix – Users employ this matrix to rank resources and activities against identified climatic variables and according to level of
Development of an Irish climate information platform
risk assessment approach whereby each impact is
the implementation of different and incremental
assessed according to urgency, the probability of
measures over time (e.g. IMCORE – http://climate-
occurrence and the magnitude of loss (human or
adapt.eea.europa.eu/viewmeasure?ace_measure_id
monetary). This is a useful method as it allows for the
=3510), so that options are left open to deal with a
employment of both qualitative and quantitative
range of possible different futures (Jeuken and
measures, e.g. level of financial loss, where available.
Reader, 2011). This approach aims to ensure that
whatever short to medium-term plan is adopted, it is
Stage 4 (Assess Your Options)
set in a framework that will not be maladaptive if future
climate change progresses at a rate that is different
In this stage, information about priority climate
from what is predicted to be the most probable today
impacts, goals, objectives and constraints collected
(Reeder and Ranger, 2011). On this basis, decision
through the previous steps is used to identify feasible
makers commit to short and mid-term actions, and
and appropriate adaptation options. This identification
establish a plan that can adapt over time to meet
process employs an adaptation options database,
changing circumstances and ensure resilience in the
currently being developed through ICIP (Phase 2), that
longer term.
identifies a wide range of adaptation options to
numerous
climate
impacts
and
their
sectoral
Stage 6 (Implement, evaluate, monitor & review)
implications. The database also ranks available
adaptation options according to a number of criteria
Planning for adaptation is only the first step.
including: type (grey, green, soft), lead time, sectoral
Adaptation is an iterative learning process of planning,
application,
complexity
implementation and review. This is indicated by the
(technical, institutional and social), and decision scale
arrow circling back from Step 6 to Step 1 (Fig. 3.5). It
(household/urban, catchment/region, national). Using
is of importance to monitor, evaluate and review the
this multi-criteria analysis-based approach, decision
performance of adaptation options/plans. This can be
makers can select a number of appropriate and
undertaken in terms of the objectives specified in
feasible adaptation options. It is at this stage of the
Step 1, recognising that adaptation plans also need to
analysis that detailed climatic information and data
be responsive to new information when it becomes
may be required, for example, for those options that
available.
mitigation
co-benefits,
are considered high-regret, e.g. for substantial
3.3.2
adaptation measures, further and more detailed
examination of climate projection data may be
Ireland’s Adaptive Social
Systems Simulator (iasess)
Ecological
Building upon previous research undertaken as part of
essential.
the EPA-funded project Coastal Climate Adaptation
and Development (CLAD), a web-based decision
Stage 5 (Develop a Plan)
support tool, iasess (Fig. 3.11), has been developed to
This stage will facilitate users in developing an
assist decision makers in scoping their locally specific
adaptation plan through the adaptation pathways
vulnerabilities to climate change, and then to select
approach. The adaptation pathway approach (also
and evaluate adaptation options to enhance local
referred to as the route-map approach or decision-
resilience to climate change.
pathways approach) is a new planning approach that
has been developed to address deep uncertainties in
This tool will allow decision makers to:
policy-making processes and to design robustness
and flexibility into the adaptation strategy itself (EEA,
•
2013). Rather than taking an irreversible decision now
Develop a systematic understanding of the
sector/area which they are assessing;
concerning the one or two best adaptation options to
cope with climate change (which can lead to
•
Analyse projected climate impacts on their
maladaptation and lock-ins if the climate scenarios
area/sector and assess the degree to which the
planned for do not emerge), it encourages decision
key elements and processes within it are
makers to postulate ‘what if’ outcomes and sequence
vulnerable to the effects of climate change; and
30
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
Figure 3.11. An example of Ireland’s Adaptive Social Ecological Systems Simulator (iasess) tool.
•
Make an initial evaluation of the efficacy and
how their current vulnerability might evolve under a
cumulative consequences of current or proposed
range of projected changes in climatic, social and
adaptation measures.
economic conditions. Importantly, this approach allows
users to implement adaptation options and assess the
The aim of the tool is to increase the breadth and
extent to which these might enhance their resilience to
sophistication of decision makers’ understanding of the
the impacts of climate change. To date, the
system they must adapt, achieved through the use of
development of iasess has been centred on the
Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) techniques. FCM is a
provision of a web-based capability, with the tool being
‘mental modelling’ method that creates a map of
tested and deployed in coastal areas. Work has
cognition which represents an individual’s thought
commenced to enable the use of this tool in water
processes in a given problem space (Axelrod, 1976).
management and its subsequent application to specific
Employing a participatory FCM approach (e.g. Gray et
water source areas and/or River Basin Districts, noting
al., 2013), a cognitive map of the system of interest
that as the tool is not prescribed it could be applied in
(e.g. local area) is developed, capturing decision
any environment.
makers’ conception of how the system is structured
and what its core functions are. Within this system
3.4
System Architecture and Structure
map, concepts (Drivers, Pressures, State Changes,
Welfare and Responses) are identified and the causal
In response to the requirements identified in Chapter 2,
linkages between them are encoded using weighted
a system architecture and structure was designed and
fuzzy logic terms (Fig. 3.12).
developed and the front-end prototype CIP, the
Climate
Ireland
resource
(http://www.
climateireland.ie), established. In this section, the
system architecture of the prototype CIP is introduced,
followed by discussion on the system structure and,
finally, the front-end prototype CIP website is
described.
Once a clear understanding of the system has been
realised, the cognitive representation of the reference
system can be forced by climatic, social and economic
scenarios to illustrate how existing vulnerabilities might
change in the future. On this basis, users can identify
31
Development of an Irish climate information platform
Figure 3.12. An example of Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping.
3.4.1
System architecture
The
prototype
3.4.1.1 Server-side
B/S
Once loaded, climate data are examined and analysed
(browser/server) system architecture. This allows the
using R packages (GDAL, Maptools) and command
data provider to load the climate data through a
line interface tools (e.g. CDO). The GDAL package
dedicated data provider interface on the server side
merges the climate projection data while the Maptools
and the end-users of the platform then access the
package maps and overlays the data. CDO tools are
climate information through an Internet browser on the
then used to analyse the data. Analysed data, e.g. up-
client side (Fig. 3.13). This architecture allows for the
scaled/average data, are then stored in CouchDB.
uploading of new data sets and incorporation into the
Upon request by Clutch for predefined data, JVM
existing database with relative ease.
libraries are then used to draw charts (Incanter) and
CIP
system
follows
Figure 3.13. Summary diagram of prototype Climate Information Platform (CIP) system architecture.
32
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
•
maps (Analeema), while Enlive is employed for
The
Meteorology
and
Climate
Centre
at
University College Dublin (UCD).
transforming and dynamically populating HTML pages.
3.4.1.2 Client-side
The prototype CIP has been developed to support
Using browser-based technologies (CSS, HTML, SVG
climate data sets in a variety of formats (e.g. NetCDF,
and JS), users request predefined data from the
MS Excel). A data importing interface has been
server. These requests are addressed by the server-
implemented through the R programming language,
side JVM platform, which uses Clutch to fetch the
which allows users to load the climate data in different
required data from the server. These predefined data
formats into the prototype CIP. Furthermore, by using
have been calculated server-side and stored in
this interface, NetCDF-clj, a Clojure wrapper for the
CouchDB (Fig. 3.14).
NetCDF Java bindings has been used, which ensures
that the preferred format for climate data can be
3.4.2
accessed directly from within the platform so that
System structure
Two main components comprise the system structure
offline analysis using desktop tools can be replaced by
of the prototype CIP, the data processing component
automated workflow.
and
the
prototype
CIP
website
(http://www.
3.4.2.2 Data processing
climateireland.ie). These have been implemented to
facilitate the data importing, data processing and data
When the climate data are loaded into the prototype
publishing and sharing. The system structure is shown
CIP, a data processing component is implemented
in Fig. 3.14, which is discussed below.
through the R programming language, by which the
climate data are processed and analysed from the data
3.4.2.1 Data provider and data loading
source files and the processed climate information is
The prototype CIP has been designed to identify,
saved in the database. The data processing workflow
assemble, evaluate and integrate key climate-relevant
is summarised in Fig. 3.15.
data sets and, on this basis, employ and facilitate the
After the NetCDF files are loaded, the data will be
effective use of existing knowledge to address end-
preprocessed in the CDO environment, where the
user requirements. The main data providers include:
splitseasons and yearmean commands are used to
•
The Community Climate Change Consortium for
process the data by time steps. Then the data of each
Ireland (C4i);
scenario in each of the models are converted to
GeoTIFF format, after which they are filtered according
•
The Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units
to the regions, specifically UK, Ireland, Irish counties
(ICARUS); and
and Irish provinces.
Figure 3.14. Summary diagram of the mechanism for information delivery to respond to user requests.
33
Development of an Irish climate information platform
Figure 3.15. Summary diagram of the data processing and analysis procedures employed by the prototype
Climate Information Platform (CIP).
Statistical analysis is performed based on the filtered
when new climate models and statistical methods are
data and the statistical results are transformed into
considered.
JSON format, which is ready to be saved in a
database. Since the output format is implemented as
3.4.2.4 Prototype CIP website
JSON, it will be feasible to store the climate information
The
in a different NoSQL database, which is the initial step
climateireland.ie), as the end-users interface, is
of Big Data architecture.
implemented to provide climate information and web-
prototype
CIP
website
(http://www.
based tools for decision making, adaptation planning
3.4.2.3 CouchDB database
and other purposes. It is a web-based information
The CouchDB database is deployed in the prototype
system, which is implemented by HTML for static web
CIP to save the climate information to be published to
pages and Clojure programming language for the
the end-users. The CouchDB database is a NoSQL
dynamic part. Leiningen is used to manage the Clojure
database, which provides an HTTP API interface to
project and provide the running environment for
access the data and supports MapReduce to process
Clojure codes.
the data further. As a document-based database with
little limitation in relation to table structure, it is easier
As shown in Fig. 3.16, the HTML web pages provide
to save the processed climate information from
static climate information in the CIP website. When the
multiple climate models and statistical processes, even
end-users request the processed climate data from the
Figure 3.16. Summary diagram detailing the process employed for information delivery through the
prototype Climate Information Platform (CIP) website (http://www.climateireland.ie).
34
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
iasess) using the JavaScript and Clojure scripts. In the
implementation of these decision-making tools,
JavaScript is used to handle the interaction between
the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and the end-users
and Clojure scripts are used to handle data retrieving,
executing decision-making algorithms and to visualise
the results in web pages.
CouchDB, these requests are addressed by using the
Clutch library to retrieve data from the database. Java
libraries are used to draw charts (by Incanter) and
maps (by Analeema) by producing SVG image files.
Finally, Clojure scripts with Enlive are implemented to
populate the climate data and charts into the HTML
web pages. Apart from the dynamic web pages, there
have been some adaptation tools developed (e.g.
35
Development of an Irish climate information platform
4
Conclusions and Recommendations
4.1
Conclusions
for decision makers. As a result, information to
increase
The climate is changing and these changes are
awareness
and
understanding
of
climate change is required to overcome the more
expected to continue and intensify into the future.
common barriers to climate change adaptation
Given the increased knowledge of expected climate
such as scepticism, denial, and knowledge and
impacts, a planned and strategic approach to
evidence gaps.
adaptation is now required to reduce risk and avail of
any opportunities that climate change might present.
•
Climate change is a global problem but the
For Ireland, there now exists a wide range of
impacts of climate change manifest locally, being
information on the current and anticipated effects of
determined
climate change and this information is considered to
topography, and local sensitivity and adaptive
provide a robust knowledge base with which to begin
capacity. Currently, decision makers face a
the process of adaptation planning. However, this
number of barriers to allow for the (re)definition
information is disparate in both location and format,
of the climate change problem for a specific
and thus extremely difficult for decision makers to
location/sector of operation and the identification
access and interpret. International experience has
of potential future vulnerability and adaptation
demonstrated that centralised online CIPs providing
measures.
by
local-specific
factors,
e.g.
harmonised scientific information adapted to the needs
•
of the end-user groups can support practical climate
Planning for future climate change is fraught with
uncertainty and decision makers in Ireland lack
adaptation decision making.
the resources and tools to incorporate this
Through the development of a prototype CIP for
information into their current planning practices.
Ireland, the first phase of the ICIP project has made
As a result, the provision of specific frameworks
substantial progress in developing a CIP specifically
and tools to allow decision makers to incorporate
tailored for climate adaptation planning in Ireland and
climate change information into current planning
has demonstrated the potential for employing existing
practices and begin to plan for climate change
information and data in meeting the challenge of
adaptation is required.
initiating, planning for and managing climate change
adaptation. In addition, through interactions with
On this basis, a range of web-based resources and
project stakeholders (end-users and data providers),
tools has been developed, made available through the
the first phase of the ICIP project has demonstrated its
prototype CIP, to overcome the current information
potential to act as a boundary organisation, bridging
deficit and to facilitate the initiation and development of
the
adaptation responses in Ireland:
science–policy
interface
and
making
the
information required for adaptation decision making
•
available, relevant and usable by decision makers.
To address the requirement for increased
awareness and understanding, informational
In collaboration with project stakeholders, the first
resources have been developed outlining the
phase of the ICIP project identified the key areas of
specifics of Climate Change and Adaptation in a
information provision required for the initiation and
user-friendly format. These resources provide the
development of adaptation responses in Ireland:
prerequisite information required by decision
makers to begin to understand and address the
•
Currently, Ireland can be considered to be at the
problem of climate change and adaptation and in
early stages of the adaptation planning, with
doing
adaptation not yet considered a high priority
understanding climate change adaptation.
36
so
overcome
common
barriers
to
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
•
To facilitate decision makers in coming to an
•
Continued user engagement and training to
understanding of what climate change might
ensure that information and data delivered
mean for them, the Climate Information Tool has
through the prototype CIP are of direct relevance
collated, integrated and standardised existing
and tailored to decision making in Ireland;
downscaled climate change projection data for
•
Ireland, providing decision makers with an overall
Improvements to the system architecture and
view of what changes in climate they might
methods for data management, interrogation and
expect. In addition, and adopting a vulnerability-
display; and
based approach, supported by its Climate Hazard
•
Scoping Tool, the prototype CIP collates and
The
development
of
a
roadmap
for
operationalising ICIP.
integrates a wide range of spatial and non-spatial
data sets to allow an examination of current
levels of exposure to climate hazards and an
4.2.1
assessment of how these might change in the
Currently, the prototype CIP offers a number of high-
future. The Sectoral Adaptation Scoping Tool
level (e.g. national level) scoping tools (e.g. the
provides decision makers with sectoral-specific
Climate Information Tool and the Climate Hazard
Scoping Tool) to facilitate decision makers in
understanding the implications that climate change
might have for their area or sector of interest. However,
further development of tools is recommended to
facilitate decision makers in meeting the requirements
of the NCCAF (DECLG, 2012), particularly the
requirement that local and sectoral decision makers
consider the issue of climate adaptation in the delivery
of services and infrastructure, integrate climate change
adaptation considerations into their statutory plans and
incorporate climate adaptation into their current
planning practices. This will involve the further
development of the existing tools to allow decision
makers to recognise, at a scale that is appropriate to
their decision-making requirements, the inherent
uncertainties in climatic information and data and
successfully work with them in future planning. Tools
must also provide a means of combining climatic and
non-climatic information and data (e.g. socio-economic
information) to identify, assess and prioritise existing
and future vulnerabilities and also facilitate decision
makers in developing and implementing an adaptation
plan.
information on the key climate change impacts
and how these might be addressed through
adaptation measures.
•
On the basis of available climatic information for
Ireland, specific tools (Adaptation Support Tool
and iasess) have been developed and made
available through the prototype CIP to facilitate
decision makers in making best use of existing
information in their planning. These tools adopt a
policy-first
approach
to
climate
change
adaptation and aim to develop a systematic
understanding of the impacts (direct and indirect)
of current and future climate change on their
specific area or system of interest.
4.2
Recommendations
The first phase of the ICIP project has demonstrated
the potential for employing a national CIP to support
climate adaptation planning in Ireland. Nonetheless, in
order to operationalise the prototype CIP developed
through the first phase and, in particular, to support
Improved decision support
decision makers in fulfilling their obligations under the
NCCAF (DECLG, 2012), further development is
4.2.2
User engagement and training
recommended in a number of key areas:
User engagement has formed a key focus of the
development process and has aimed to ensure that the
•
The provision of improved mechanisms for
prototype CIP meets the requirements of key
decision support that directly address the needs
stakeholder groups. However, in order to ensure the
of decision making in Ireland, e.g. NCCAF
continued development and effective uptake of the
(DECLG, 2012);
resource by these key stakeholder groups, this
37
Development of an Irish climate information platform
•
engagement should be strengthened further under a
Currently, development of the prototype CIP is
managed by Clojure and based on a JVM
second phase of development.
environment. As a consequence, there is no web
•
The prototype CIP is a boundary resource,
server used to support the deployment of the
working at the science–policy interface. As a
website and this results in difficulties in system
result, considering the needs of stakeholders
tuning, optimisation and monitoring. In addition,
must form a critical component of further
given the relatively large amount of climatic data
development if the communication of scientific
being stored in a single server, there is a potential
information is to be successful. In order to ensure
issue that the R programming language and
that the needs of the user communities are met, it
Clojure scripts cannot provide satisfactory system
is essential that a partnership approach is
performance when faced with higher levels of
adopted during the continued development of
requests. In order to overcome these issues, it is
ICIP to ensure that information and tools
recommended that website development be
delivered are of relevance to users and their
based on Java and website deployment in a Java
decision-making requirements.
•
web server, e.g. Tomcat. In addition, and on this
Adaptation is complex and adaptation planning
basis, C++ could be used to handle the business
poses a major challenge to decision makers. For
logic that requires heavy computation, e.g. data
example, through its Adaptation Support Tool, the
loading, processing, statistical analysis.
prototype CIP adopts a policy-first approach to
4.2.4
adaptation. This approach advocates beginning
Improved data management
at the scale of the adaptation problem, adopting a
Currently, the prototype CIP has developed and
participatory approach, and it, therefore, requires
employs a data loading component, which aims to
significant input from the user community. When
instantaneously load a wide range of spatial and non-
attempting to foster uptake of these tools by user
spatial
communities, it has been demonstrated that
implementation, several improvements can be made to
those tools that offer focused guidance and user
the data management workflow:
data
sets.
Based
on
the
existing
support, including training programmes, tend to
•
be more popular and used more often. As a
The current data loading component supports
both NetCDF and MS Excel files. This data
result, it is recommended that user training would
loading component can be improved to support
form a key part of the further development of
more data formats and data standards such as
ICIP.
relational databases, MS Access, plain text files,
4.2.3
shapefiles. In addition, more data standards can
Improved system architecture
The prototype CIP has been implemented based on
be considered. For example, the OPeNDAP
the B/S system architecture, development is managed
architecture and protocol, which has been used
by the Leiningen R programming language, Clojure
by a variety of government agencies, e.g. NASA,
scripts are employed on the server side, and the
can be established.
system runs in the JVM environment. However, some
•
improvements are recommended as part of further
In
its
current
guise,
the
data
loading
implementation can only support loading in batch
development:
mode and the process of data loading is started
•
The prototype CIP system components have
manually,
been implemented individually and as a result
workflow for online data is recommended that
some of the system functionalities must be
would support incremental loading and greatly
carried out manually. In order to achieve a more
decrease data loading times. Furthermore, a data
complete
further
streaming interface can be considered, by which
development is recommended to integrate the
the new climate data can be streamed into the
system components more closely.
platform dynamically.
and
automatic
workflow,
38
by
online
control.
An
automatic
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
•
The prototype CIP has employed the CouchDB
techniques can be considered to speed up the data
database to store processed climate data.
loading time.
However, due to design constraints, it can be
difficult to operate this database. As a result, it is
4.2.6
recommended that the database be upgraded to
Roadmap for operationalising ICIP
Following from the development of the prototype CIP
support full data operation, MongoDB.
resource and in order to ensure the continued
4.2.5
development and uptake of this prototype resource by
Improved data interrogation and display
The prototype CIP website allows the end-users to
the key stakeholder groups, a roadmap for further
interact with the system. From a technical point of view,
development is required. This roadmap should
there is still space to improve the data interrogation
address issues such as embedding, governing and
and display. For example, the current design of two of
resourcing an operational CIP for Ireland. In order to
the web-based tools, the Climate Hazard Scoping Tool
formulate such a roadmap, a review of international
and the Adaptation Support Scoping tool, uses static
best practice frameworks for embedding, governing
data display, where the data must be first loaded, an
and resourcing an operational CIP should be
SVG image then generated and incorporated into the
undertaken and expert input should be sought from
HTML web page. This results in increased waiting
existing and international CIPs. Following from this, a
times for users. Therefore, efforts can be made in order
stakeholder engagement (data providers and end-
to improve the data display by considering alternative
users) strategy should be put in place to determine the
approaches, such as HTML5 and Ajax. Data cache
most effective options for operationalising ICIP.
39
Development of an Irish climate information platform
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Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle
Estate, Wexford, Ireland.
West, C. and Gawith, M., 2005. Measuring Progress:
Preparing for Climate Change through the UK
Climate Impacts Programme. United Kingdom
Climate Impacts Programme, Oxford, UK.
Sweeney, J., Bourke, D., Coll, J., Flood, S., et al., 2013.
Co-ordination, Communication and Adaptation for
Climate Change in Ireland: an Integrated Approach
(COCOADAPT). Environmental Protection Agency,
Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford, Ireland.
Wilby, Troni, J., Biot, Y., Tedd, L., Hewitson, B.C., Smith,
D.M. and Sutton, R.T., 2009. A review of climate risk
information for adaptation and development planning.
International Journal of Climatology 29: 1193–1125.
43
Development of an Irish climate information platform
Acronyms
AOGCM
Atmosphere Ocean General Circulation Model
b/s
Browser/server
C4i
Community Climate Change Consortium for Ireland
CDO
Climate Data Operators
CIP
Climate Information Platform
CLAD
Coastal Climate Adaptation and Development
CSS
Cascading Style Sheets
DDS
Dynamical downscaling
EEA
European Environment Agency
EPA
Environmental Protection Agency
EU
European Union
FCM
Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping
GCM
General Circulation Model
GDAL
Geospatial Data Abstraction Library
GHG
Greenhouse gas
GUI
Graphical User Interface
HTML
Hyper Text Markup Language
iasess
Ireland’s Adaptive Social Ecological Systems Simulator
ICARUS
Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units
ICIP
Climate Information Platform
IPCC
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
JVM
Java virtual machine
NCCAF
National Climate Change Adaptation Framework
OPW
Office of Public Works
RCM
Regional Circulation Model
SDS
Statistical downscaling
SLR
Sea-level rise
SME
Small to medium-sized enterprise
SRES
Special Report on Emission Scenarios
SVG
Scalable Vector Graphic
UCD
University College Dublin
UKCIP
United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme
44
B. O’Dwyer et al. (2010-CCRP-MS-2.1)
45
AN GHNÍOMHAIREACHT UM
CHAOMHNÚ COMHSHAOIL
Tá an Ghníomhaireacht um Chaomhnú Comhshaoil (GCC)
freagrach as an gcomhshaol a chaomhnú agus a fheabhsú
mar shócmhainn luachmhar do mhuintir na hÉireann. Táimid
tiomanta do dhaoine agus don chomhshaol a chosaint ó
éifeachtaí díobhálacha na radaíochta agus an truaillithe.
Is féidir obair na Gníomhaireachta a
roinnt ina trí phríomhréimse:
Rialú: Déanaimid córais éifeachtacha rialaithe
agus comhlíonta comhshaoil a chur i bhfeidhm chun
torthaí maithe comhshaoil a sholáthar agus chun
díriú orthu siúd nach gcloíonn leis na córais sin.
Eolas: Soláthraímid sonraí, faisnéis agus measúnú comhshaoil
atá ar ardchaighdeán, spriocdhírithe agus tráthúil chun
bonn eolais a chur faoin gcinnteoireacht ar gach leibhéal.
Tacaíocht: Bímid ag saothrú i gcomhar le grúpaí eile chun
tacú le comhshaol atá glan, táirgiúil agus cosanta go maith,
agus le hiompar a chuirfidh le comhshaol inbhuanaithe.
Monatóireacht, Anailís agus
Tuairisciú ar an gComhshaol
• Monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar cháilíocht an aeir agus Treoir an
AE maidir le hAer Glan don Eoraip (CAFÉ) a chur chun feidhme.
• Tuairisciú neamhspleách le cabhrú le cinnteoireacht an rialtais
náisiúnta agus na n-údarás áitiúil (m.sh. tuairisciú tréimhsiúil ar
staid Chomhshaol na hÉireann agus Tuarascálacha ar Tháscairí).
Rialú Astaíochtaí na nGás Ceaptha Teasa in Éirinn
• Fardail agus réamh-mheastacháin na hÉireann maidir le gáis
cheaptha teasa a ullmhú.
• An Treoir maidir le Trádáil Astaíochtaí a chur chun feidhme i
gcomhair breis agus 100 de na táirgeoirí dé-ocsaíde carbóin is
mó in Éirinn
Taighde agus Forbairt Comhshaoil
• Taighde comhshaoil a chistiú chun brúnna a shainaithint, bonn
eolais a chur faoi bheartais, agus réitigh a sholáthar i réimsí na
haeráide, an uisce agus na hinbhuanaitheachta.
Measúnacht Straitéiseach Timpeallachta
Ár bhFreagrachtaí
• Measúnacht a dhéanamh ar thionchar pleananna agus clár
beartaithe ar an gcomhshaol in Éirinn (m.sh. mórphleananna
forbartha).
Ceadúnú
Cosaint Raideolaíoch
• Déanaimid na gníomhaíochtaí seo a leanas a rialú ionas
nach ndéanann siad dochar do shláinte an phobail ná don
chomhshaol:
• saoráidí dramhaíola (m.sh. láithreáin líonta talún, loisceoirí,
stáisiúin aistrithe dramhaíola);
• gníomhaíochtaí tionsclaíocha ar scála mór (m.sh.
déantúsaíocht cógaisíochta, déantúsaíocht stroighne,
stáisiúin chumhachta);
• an diantalmhaíocht (m.sh. muca, éanlaith);
• úsáid shrianta agus scaoileadh rialaithe Orgánach
Géinmhodhnaithe (OGM);
• foinsí radaíochta ianúcháin (m.sh. trealamh x-gha agus
radaiteiripe, foinsí tionsclaíocha);
• áiseanna móra stórála peitril;
• scardadh dramhuisce;
• gníomhaíochtaí dumpála ar farraige.
Forfheidhmiú Náisiúnta i leith Cúrsaí Comhshaoil
• Clár náisiúnta iniúchtaí agus cigireachtaí a dhéanamh gach
bliain ar shaoráidí a bhfuil ceadúnas ón nGníomhaireacht acu.
• Maoirseacht a dhéanamh ar fhreagrachtaí cosanta
comhshaoil na n-údarás áitiúil.
• Caighdeán an uisce óil, arna sholáthar ag soláthraithe uisce
phoiblí, a mhaoirsiú.
• Obair le húdaráis áitiúla agus le gníomhaireachtaí eile
chun dul i ngleic le coireanna comhshaoil trí chomhordú a
dhéanamh ar líonra forfheidhmiúcháin náisiúnta, trí dhíriú
ar chiontóirí, agus trí mhaoirsiú a dhéanamh ar leasúchán.
• Cur i bhfeidhm rialachán ar nós na Rialachán um
Dhramhthrealamh Leictreach agus Leictreonach (DTLL), um
Shrian ar Shubstaintí Guaiseacha agus na Rialachán um rialú
ar shubstaintí a ídíonn an ciseal ózóin.
• An dlí a chur orthu siúd a bhriseann dlí an chomhshaoil
agus a dhéanann dochar don chomhshaol.
Bainistíocht Uisce
• Monatóireacht agus tuairisciú a dhéanamh ar cháilíocht
aibhneacha, lochanna, uiscí idirchriosacha agus cósta na
hÉireann, agus screamhuiscí; leibhéil uisce agus sruthanna
aibhneacha a thomhas.
• Comhordú náisiúnta agus maoirsiú a dhéanamh ar an
gCreat-Treoir Uisce.
• Monatóireacht agus tuairisciú a dhéanamh ar Cháilíocht an
Uisce Snámha.
• Monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar leibhéil radaíochta, measúnacht
a dhéanamh ar nochtadh mhuintir na hÉireann don radaíocht
ianúcháin.
• Cabhrú le pleananna náisiúnta a fhorbairt le haghaidh
éigeandálaí ag eascairt as taismí núicléacha.
• Monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar fhorbairtí thar lear a bhaineann le
saoráidí núicléacha agus leis an tsábháilteacht raideolaíochta.
• Sainseirbhísí cosanta ar an radaíocht a sholáthar, nó maoirsiú a
dhéanamh ar sholáthar na seirbhísí sin.
Treoir, Faisnéis Inrochtana agus Oideachas
• Comhairle agus treoir a chur ar fáil d’earnáil na tionsclaíochta
agus don phobal maidir le hábhair a bhaineann le caomhnú an
chomhshaoil agus leis an gcosaint raideolaíoch.
• Faisnéis thráthúil ar an gcomhshaol ar a bhfuil fáil éasca a
chur ar fáil chun rannpháirtíocht an phobail a spreagadh sa
chinnteoireacht i ndáil leis an gcomhshaol (m.sh. Timpeall an Tí,
léarscáileanna radóin).
• Comhairle a chur ar fáil don Rialtas maidir le hábhair a
bhaineann leis an tsábháilteacht raideolaíoch agus le cúrsaí
práinnfhreagartha.
• Plean Náisiúnta Bainistíochta Dramhaíola Guaisí a fhorbairt chun
dramhaíl ghuaiseach a chosc agus a bhainistiú.
Múscailt Feasachta agus Athrú Iompraíochta
• Feasacht chomhshaoil níos fearr a ghiniúint agus dul i bhfeidhm
ar athrú iompraíochta dearfach trí thacú le gnóthais, le pobail
agus le teaghlaigh a bheith níos éifeachtúla ar acmhainní.
• Tástáil le haghaidh radóin a chur chun cinn i dtithe agus in ionaid
oibre, agus gníomhartha leasúcháin a spreagadh nuair is gá.
Bainistíocht agus struchtúr na Gníomhaireachta
um Chaomhnú Comhshaoil
Tá an ghníomhaíocht á bainistiú ag Bord lánaimseartha,
ar a bhfuil Ard-Stiúrthóir agus cúigear Stiúrthóirí.
Déantar an obair ar fud cúig cinn d’Oifigí:
• An Oifig Aeráide, Ceadúnaithe agus Úsáide Acmhainní
• An Oifig Forfheidhmithe i leith cúrsaí Comhshaoil
• An Oifig um Measúnú Comhshaoil
• An Oifig um Cosaint Raideolaíoch
• An Oifig Cumarsáide agus Seirbhísí Corparáideacha
Tá Coiste Comhairleach ag an nGníomhaireacht le cabhrú léi.
Tá dáréag comhaltaí air agus tagann siad le chéile go rialta le
plé a dhéanamh ar ábhair imní agus le comhairle a chur ar an
mBord.
EPA Research Report 135
The Development of an Irish Climate Information
Platform (ICIP) - Phase 1 (2010-2013)
Report Author: Barry O’Dwyer, UCC
The aim of this report is to detail the development of Phase 1 of the Irish Climate Information
Platform (ICIP) and more specifically the development of a prototype climate information
platform for Ireland.
Identifying Pressures
For Ireland, there now exists a large body of work on current and anticipated impacts of climate change and it
is considered that there is a robust knowledge base to support the process of adaptation planning. However,
this information is disparate, being held by a wide range of organisations, in a variety of formats and with
differing means of access and, as a result, it has been difficult for decision makers and citizens alike to access it.
International experience has demonstrated that centralised online platforms providing harmonised scientific
information adapted to end-user needs can effectively support practical decision making.
Informing Policy
The prototype ICIP has been designed and developed in order to:
1.Improve users’ understanding of climatic and adaptation science
2.Act as a centralised repository of authoritative climatic information for Ireland
3.Provide a range of frameworks and tools to allow users to employ climatic information and data in their
current planning practices
Developing Solutions
Phase 1 of the ICIP project has made substantial progress in designing and developing a prototype ICIP and
has demonstrated the potential to serve as a key resource for communicating and supporting the analysis of
impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation options. As part of this process, the key areas of information provision
required for the initiation and development of adaptation responses in Ireland were identified. The prototype
ICIP has been successful in collating and integrating a wide range of spatial and non-spatial data sets that are
of significant importance in the development of adaptation planning in Ireland. The prototype ICIP has also
designed and developed specific resources, frameworks and tools to allow the employment of these data in
the development of adaptation plans. In order to operationalise the resource to effectively support decision
makers in fulfilling their obligations further development of the resource is required
EPA Research: McCumiskey House,
Richiew, Clonskeagh, Dublin 14.
Phone: 01 268 0100
Twitter: @EPAResearchNews
Email: [email protected]
Cover photo: John Doheny
EPA-ReportCover-135-Nov14-v1.indd 2
www.epa.ie
EPA Research Webpages
www.epa.ie/researchandeducation/research/
04/11/2014 16:24